Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Fujieda: A Japan Football Association Nadeshiko Square, a football festival for girls and women, was held at Fujieda Junshin Girls Soccer School on August 3.
The participating children were very pleased when the high school girls showed their skills and asked the kids to join them in doing the football drills.
Coaching children meant a lot to the high school students as well as they could learn how challenging coaching could be and see football from a coach’s perspective.
One of the big characteristics of the activity at Fujieda Junshin Girls Soccer School was that there was an expectation some of the participating students would become female coaches in the future.
Since kindergarten and elementary school children tended to have their concentration distracted easily, the instructors made some efforts to keep them entertained.
When instructors wanted the children to have enough space around and to respect others, they told the children to spread their arms with a ball in hand and to try to rotate the ball without dropping it.
They even told them to shout “Helicopter!” as they rotated it. Another good thing to do at the festival was giving high fives to children who did good job or tried hard.
Shinya Nakai, Fujieda Junshin’s school master, said Nadeshiko Square has taken place twice a month for kindergarten and lower grades elementary school kids to provide them with a place where they can meet football for the first time in their life.
“The participants have different purposes, for example, there are kids who just got interested in football and kids who are encouraged by their family to play football for health enhancement,” Japan Football Association's official website jfa.jp quoted her as saying. “But I work on this event to let the participating kids feel like ‘football is fun’ or ‘I want to play it again’.”
“When I see kids chasing the ball and kicking the ball with a smile on their face, I feel like my work has paid off. I will keep making efforts to upgrade the great football feeling. Through the Nadeshiko Square experience, I dream of kids stepping up to a junior club and to junior youth club. After leaving Nadeshiko Square, I dream of them playing well for Junshin High School and taking a leap in the future for Nadeshiko Japan, the national women’s team. I will do all my best to help kids so that this dream will come true.”
A participant, Ayano Masuda, said: “I enjoyed playing at Nadeshiko Square a lot. I’m happy to play football with a lot of friends. I hope the next Nadeshiko Square is coming soon. I wish I could always play football with high school girls.”
The commitment to grassroots has been picking up speed throughout the continent after the celebration of the AFC Grassroots 2013 and the inauguration of the AFC Grassroots Day on May 15 last year.