Northern Mariana Island FA receives AFC Grassroots Charter Bronze membership
Kuala Lumpur: Northern Mariana Island FA (NMIFA) has been awarded the AFC Grassroots Charter Bronze membership for its outstanding commitment to grassroots football development.
The Grassroots Charter is a development tool for Member Associations to raise the quality of their grassroots programmes.
It identifies 20 performance categories, such as grassroots competitions, fairplay, partnerships and personal development, which have all been met by NMIFA.
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A progressive association which is always striving for excellence, NMIFA has a well-organised grassroots development plan, in line with NMIFA's Football Strategic Plan 2018 - 2023.
The association clearly explains the objectives, major tasks, timeline and responsible personnel with the emphasis on promoting football among children and young people.
A major strength of the NMIFA in relation to Grassroots growth is strong grassroots competition structures for male and female players of all ages.
NMIFA has shown tremendous progress in its Youth, Men’s, Women’s and Masters’ leagues with over 1,700 players and 54 teams in total. A range of regular competitions are organised every year.
NMI’s Youth League is widely popular with nine clubs participating. With the addition of the U15 national team participating in the U18 Youth League, 54 teams are playing during the 2019 Spring Season.
NMIFA has built strong and meaningful partnerships with several high profile and reputable associations and brands within the community to assist with growing grassroots participation.
There is true alignment between what the NMIFA is trying to achieve in grassroots development and what the brands and associations can offer through partnerships.
NMIFA executes its projects and activities with generous support from the Asian Football Confederation, East Asian Football Federation, as well as its fellow member associations, particularly the Japan Football Association and Guam Football Association.
Other partnerships include CNMI Officer of the Governor, CNMI Public School System, Saipan Soccer School, Tan Holdings, Dove and kit sponsors SFIDA.
The NMIFA provides several development opportunities for local coaches. Since 2018, the NMIFA has delivered C and D certificate coaching courses to over 70 coaches, ensuring that the grassroots system has the expertise required to develop players competing in grassroots structures.
In line with the AFC Coaching Convention, NMIFA plans to further strengthen coach education and organise B Certificate course of its own by 2023.
In addition, NMIFA holds a coach workshop prior to the start of each season of the Youth League. It covers practical and theoretical sessions and a review of the Respect the Game code of conduct.
“In has only been in the last five years that NMIFA has started seeing the results of developing its grassroots programme, most especially at the youth level,” said NMIFA General Secretary Rosauro D. Zapanta.
"We now have more national players with ages ranging from 16 to 22 years old that are the product of our youth programme."
“With the approval of NMIFA’s Bronze Membership, we are hoping to enhance our grassroots development with focus on quality. As stated above, NMIFA completed its duly owned and operated training centre in 2018.
“The sight of the completed project made the CNMI public “buy-in” to the objectives of why NMIFA wants to develop football locally. With such expectations, the AFC Grassroots Charter Membership will be very significant.”
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