Ministry behind CAF U-15 competition

By Michael Uugwanga

THE Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service has said that it will fully support  the newly launched Confederation of African Football (CAF) U/15  7-Aside school girls competition project  that is set to take place next year, on a date yet to be confirmed.

Project manager for the CAF U/15 football school competition, Astrid Vries said Namibia was selected to host the competition following its application to CAF last year.

“Namibia is one of the selected 16 countries to host this tournament following its application at the back end of last year. After this successful piloting we will be looking at taking the competition to other regions,” said Vries.

CAF is still to also release the names of the other 15 participating countries for the project.

The CAF U/15 7-Aside school competition will be contested by eight Windhoek-based schools, namely A.I Steenkamp Primary School, Amazing Kids Private School and Academy, Bethold Himunuine Primary School, Faith Primary School, Goreangab Secondary, Mandume Primary School, M.H. Greef Primary School and Tobias Hainyeko Primary School.

The coaches of the selected schools were present at the announcement to receive gear such as attires, boots and water bottles.

The schools league competition is one of CAF’s strategic plans to promote women football at grassroots level.

Speaking at the launch, deputy director of Marginalised People and Women in Sport in the Ministry of Sports, Johanna Manuel said the ministry will continue to work together with its partners such as CAF, the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Skorpion Zinc and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in making sure that each Namibian girl gets a chance to play football.

“Let me seize this opportunity to thank UNICEF for being one of the foundation pillars of women football in our country. NFA Women’s department together with UNICEF were the initiators of the Galz & Goals project. The Galz & Goals project has brought about a lot of women football activities across the country. Similarly, let me also thank the Skorpion Zinc for having supported and funded the previous season of the women’s football league. 

“We are grateful to CAF and as a government we have all the trust that NFA women department will successfully pull off this project, just as they have done with all other projects. The government remains committed to the development of our nation. We pledge to continue assisting the NFA women department with this project,” said Manuel.

In 2009, the NFA women’s desk spearheaded by Jackie Gertze and current acting technical director of the NFA and former coach of the Brave Gladiators Jacky Shipanga were at the forefront of the establishment of the Galz & Goals national project as part of the association’s plans to bring football closer to girls who want to pursue a football career.

Current top players such as Zenatha Coleman, now at Seville in the Spanish top flight league, Kotjipati Veweiziwa in Germany for Mönchengladbach, Thomalina ‘Pele’ Adams at Tura Magic in the Skorpion Zinc/NFA Women Super League, Annuschka Kordom and Lovisa Mulunga playing college soccer for Corban University in Salem, Oregon (U.S.A) and Golden Rams at Albany University, in Georgia, respectively, all were identified through the project .