The development of future local footballers is the focus of a week-long FIFA and OFC grassroots course taking place in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara last week.More than 20 participants from Honiara and the outer provinces are attending the course, including one who has travelled across from the remote atolls of Rennell and Bellona to take part.
The course will concluded over the weekend when the participants left with qualifications to carry out grassroots programmes in their schools and communities.
The course was being conducted by OFC duo Didier Chambaron, who heads the OFC education and training programme, and Daniel Shirley, the OFC player development officer.
Participants have also had the chance to meet with Glenn Turner, who is the FIFA development officer for the Oceania region.
Solomon Islands Football Federation general secretary Eddie Ngava welcomed the instructors and called on the participants to ensure they make a maximum gain of knowledge from the course.
"Thank you to FIFA and OFC for supporting grassroots development in Solomon Islands through the course and, to the instructors, thank you for coming to Solomon Islands," he said in his opening address.
"For the participants, thank you for answering the call to be part of football and I want to urge you all to learn to the best of your ability what these instructors will share with you over the next few days."
Turner reinforced FIFA's focus on grassroots development which he said prepares the next generation of footballers. He told the participants that their challenge is to transfer their knowledge onto pitches in their communities.
"Solomon Islands has the ability and all we need is the commitment at the national and individual levels to address football development through our young children," Turner said.
"The challenge is not in attending this course but in how you think about how you will use this training to develop footballers in your homes, schools and communities."
For more on Solomon Islands football go to www.siff.com.sb