Malta Football Association
May 25, 2013
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On Thursday 23rd May several schools and MCAST students were presented with certificates in recognition of their participation in National Stadium tours and schools festivals organised by the MFA technical centre. This was a very welcome occasion for the students who could appreciate the work being done by the technical centre for the promotion of football in all sectors of the game.


The first speaker was the technical director, Robert Gatt, who described the daily routine work at the centre, referring to it as an open venue which caters for all our footballers’ technical requirements and which promotes the game in private and state schools with weekly visits and organisation of mini-tournaments for primary schools.      


Maria Mifsud, Deputy General Secretary (Grassroots Youth Development & Education) thanked the heads of schools for their co-operation in giving their students the opportunity to participate in the association’s events, which despite being limited in the number of outings, offer the best educational environment possible. She referred to the Futsal festivals in which 56 schools took part with students numbering about 1100 in the activities. She also spoke about the football sessions focusing on girls where the association’s coaches catered for about 2000 females. Mifsud then mentioned the equipment which the MFA donates to schools and finally the annual UEFA Grassroots Day featuring the participation of 500 students.


The MFA head of marketing. Norman Saliba, described the initiative of the stadium tours for schoolchildren as part of a holistic strategy to promote the game further and to generate greater awareness and enthusiasm towards our national teams. He said that the association’s initiative gives rise to more of the same. The vibe and feedback received by the MFA on those occasions when delegations, including National Team players paid visits to the various schools, urged the association to start working on bringing the pupils closer to the home of local football. Such an experience opens up new horizons in that they would learn more about local football, including the national teams, how competitions are run and players taken care of.


Saliba said that the educational aspect of these tours then brought MFA and MCAST to a co-operation initiative which is giving students who are currently following studies related to sport administration, the opportunity to carry out work experience with the MFA and for which they are being credited.


The number of schools which have shown interest and organised groups for the stadium tours during this scholastic year have increased and the number of students who have experienced the stadium tours has more than doubled over the previous period.


The head of marketing finally said that the MFA is now working on getting to a point of extending the stadium tours to adult groups and the tourist sector.


The MCAST Sports Studies co-ordinator, Dorianne Bonnici, then gave an overview of the various sports-related courses run by MCAST which is always on the look-out for experience and opportunities for their students on the same lines as those presented to them by the MFA.


Alfred Cachia, the MFA Educational and Activities Officer, then brought the morning to an end by speaking about the necessity of schools adopting a sport ethos to give personality to the school. Sport has always enhanced academic success, and speaking from personal experience, he said that sport attracted children to school and that sense of happy belonging would spill into academic achievement.


At the end Certficates, vouchers and footballs were given out to all participating schools.

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