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Tribune News Network

Belmopan (Belize)

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association of Football (Concacaf) has joined forces with the Generation Amazing (Gen Amazing) Foundation to foster football development across the region.

As part of Concacaf’s Bigger Game Social Responsibility strategy, 2024 marks the second year of this transformative initiative, culminating in a two-day celebration of sport and community in Belize in mid-February.

Concacaf and GA remain committed to building a long-term football infrastructure that not only cultivates talent but also promotes social values among young people.

Local coaches engaged in intensive training sessions over a two-day period. These sessions were specifically designed to equip coaches with the necessary tools to create positive impacts within their communities through football.

The festival play, a highlight of the event, saw these newly trained coaches bring their learnings to life, facilitating engaging and fun activities for over 600 children and 50 coaches from local communities.

At the event, Concacaf Chief Development Officer Jason Roberts interacted with participants and delivered an address during the ceremony.

“After what we’ve witnessed so far, we are even more convinced that football can be a potent force for social change judging by the happiness and excitement of the young players and their coaches here in Belize. And that’s exactly what we’re aiming for with this programme – to develop our young people’s character and give them the tools they need to lead their communities, not just football skills, and enjoy themselves in the process,” he said.

Also in attendance was GA Executive Director Nasser Al Khori, who reflected on the impact of the joint initiative.

“This initiative is not just a programme; it’s a legacy — a testament to the enduring partnership between Generation Amazing Foundation and Concacaf, and it is crucial to our mission to unlock football as a force for good. Through our joint efforts, we’ve seen first-hand football’s transformative power in bringing communities together, fostering inclusivity and promoting key life skills,” he added. “It’s truly inspiring to see first-hand the positive changes unfolding in the lives of these young participants.”

Commencing in 2021 with 10 MAs, the initiative has since expanded with Belize being the latest country to join. By the next FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2026, GA expects that all 41 Concacaf Member Associations will have benefitted from the programme, touching the lives of 100,000 children and empowering 1,000 coaches.

Sergio Chuc, president of the Football Federation of Belize, welcomed the partnership with Generation Amazing, commenting, “We are pleased here at the FFB with the response we got from Concacaf football chief and the directors of Generation Amazing. The Football Federation of Belize teaming up with 25 primary schools to launch the program is seen as a module to emulate by other Concacaf member associations.”

The initiative is based on a blended approach of online and in-person learning in which Concacaf and GA conduct specialised workshops to provide Coach Education Training for all coaches, volunteers and stakeholders who will be delivering the training package.

Following the training, coaches implement a six-week Football for Social Development programme, integrating GA’s methodologies and social values into local schools, academies and clubs.

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