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25 Jun 2018

UEFA implements pilot project in Belarus to develop grassroots football

MINSK, 25 June (BelTA) – The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the Belarusian Football Federation (BFF) have launched a pilot project to develop football clubs. The aim is to support specific youth and grassroots football clubs, BelTA learned.

Bearing in mind the active work of the BFF to promote grassroots football, the UEFA is allocating additional funding for certain projects. It also provides great consulting and technical assistance. The pilot project covers nine youth and grassroots football clubs of different forms of ownership in the Grodno, Vitebsk and Minsk regions, and the city of Minsk. During the year, the UEFA and the BFF will provide these clubs with technical and organizational assistance to help them increase the number of young players, raise the level of education of coaches and managers, improve the training process. In addition, assistance will be provided with the organization of competitions and acquisition of modern sports equipment.

The preparatory phase of the project took place in the spring of this year. In March, the BFF held seminars in all regions of Belarus. The UEFA experts took part in the seminars in Vitebsk, Grodno and Minsk oblasts and invited clubs to send applications for participation in the pilot project. Twenty clubs applied. The shortlist included 14. From 15 to 18 May the UEFA and BFF experts conducted individual interviews with representatives of each of them and selected 9 clubs: the children's and youth sport school of Stolbtsy District, children's and youth sport school-4 (Molodechno), football club Unior (Minsk), Murashko football school (Minsk), FC Fair Play (Oshmyany), the private club of the town of Skidel, the children's and youth football school of Smorgon, the children's and youth sport school Dvina (Vitebsk), the physical culture and sport club Senno.

The next stage of the pilot project will be UEFA D License coaching courses from 25 to 27 June with the participation of coaches of the participating clubs and members of the Grassroots Football Department of the Belarusian Football Federation. The program will include a series of four similar courses. Based on the results of these courses, 24 best coaches will be selected for the UEFA C License coaching courses slated for late 2018-early 2019. Such courses (D and C License) will be organized in Belarus for the first time. They are aimed at improving the skills of coaches working in grassroots football. When the pilot project is completed, the Grassroots Football Department of the Belarusian Football Federation will run such courses independently.

The Belarusian Football Federation has recently made great progress in the development of grassroots football. The Grassroots Football Department was set up in the Technical Department of the Belarusian Football Federation in March 2017. The department employs nine specialists, seven of whom are regional grassroots football managers.

Belarus will host the UEFA grassroots conference on 10-14 June 2019. Such events are held by the UEFA once in three years.

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