AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football: China, Singapore, Bhutan
Bangkok: The Chinese Football Association (CFA), Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) received the AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football at the AFC Annual Awards 2017 gala in Thailand on Wednesday.
The award recognises Member Associations (MAs) for their efforts in promoting grassroots football, and the criteria include assessing the MAs’ grassroots partnerships with various external organisations, as well as their technical programmes such as courses, workshops and talent identification.
Inspiring: Chinese Football Association
CFA picked up its first Inspiring Member Association of the Year Award ahead of Football Federation Australia and Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran.
The association introduced several initiatives and paid special attention on technical programmes by conducting more than 260 training courses, involving 17,204 participants nationwide.
Among the projects was the Campus Football Programme which is the main pillar for the development of children’s football.
Other initiatives include Campus Football Tournaments, Level D training courses and the Enjoy the Game Tournament which helps promote and develop grassroots football through mass participation by fostering the role of leadership and organisation.
"We would like to thank the AFC for giving this important recognition to the Chinese grassroots development. Over the past several years, strong support from the Chinese Government have enabled us to launch many grassroots programmes. A lot of things have been done but we are determined to do more to expand football participation in our country," said Lin Xiao Hua, Senior Exco member of the Chinese FA .
Developing: Football Association of Singapore
The Developing Member Association of the Year Award fell to first-time winners FAS, who were picked ahead of the Hong Kong Football Association and Vietnam Football Federation.
FAS introduced a sustainable grassroots programme called Cubs, to promote football and develop young players .
FAS also brought forward The ActiveCubs programme, designed to build character and encourage children to pursue their sporting passion with the right attitude.
Other initiatives include The Passion Children’s Football programme, a platform for children aged 5 to 12 years old and Delta League, a five-a- side futsal tournament for Under-17s, aimed at keeping them engaged during the school holidays.
"I am extremely happy that Football Association of Singapore has won this award and I must thank the AFC President for introducing this award. This award means a lot to FAS. Under the new leadership, we have the desire to expand the grassroots, to increase the number of people playing the game.This win means a lot for Singapore and we would like to move from the Developing to the Inspiring category," said Football Association of Singapore President Lim Kia Tong.
BFF claimed The Aspiring Member Association of the Year Award for the second year running ahead of Macau Football Association and Palestine Football Association.
The association organised a large number of grassroots activities under its well-organised grassroots structure in the 20 districts of Bhutan.
Among the efforts realised were The Strategic Development Plan. Its contents were developed according to the AFC Grassroots Charter criteria.
BFF’s continuous efforts to organise regular technical and promotional activities as well as good cooperation with government agencies and ministries set it apart from other MAs.
BFF received further exposure at grassroots level when The Japan Professional League conducted its grassroots programmes with the slogan: Sport For Tomorrow for five districts - Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue, Paro and Haa.
"First of all, I must thank the AFC for considering Bhutan as a recipient for this award, and also thank the support of FIFA and AFC, because without their support, Bhutan as a small nation, it could not have been possible.
"For Bhutan it means a lot because that means we can tell people that we are recognised, that even though we are a small nation there's a lot that we can do. This would give us more support from the government. And we think that this award means AFC recognises the good work our nation is doing," said Bhutan Football Federation President Dasho Ugyen Tsechup Dorji.