CONCACAF NextPlay Program launches in T&T on Friday

Concacaf Next Play

Our Concacaf Next Play program is guided by the Confederation’s aim to inspire the love for our game and provide children with access to more opportunities to play football across our 41 Member Associations.

Concacaf Next Play is a grassroots participation and mentoring program for children, implemented in six-week modules that provides children the tools to learn the game of football, while fostering a wide range of the social values. Next Play is executed in partnership with Concacaf’s Member Associations, as well as local schools and governments.

Concacaf’s aim through a collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, is to deliver an official Football and Education School Program to be implemented in the public school system by engaging in meaningful and sustainable ways with local communities and using football as a tool for education and positive social change. The program commenced in Jamaica, St Vincent/Grenadines, Bahamas and St Kitts/Nevis last weekend and the T&T leg will be launched this Friday, May 18th at the Ato Boldon Stadium with a train the trainers course and a football festival with Primary School kids running until Saturday.

CONCACAF instructor and TTFA Technical Director Anton Corneal spoke of the importance of the initiative, saying “Our focus on grassroots has been very strong for a number of the years but when you look back maybe twenty or thirty years ago, the game was more accessible at the grassroots level. We are slowly getting back there and now with the NextPlay initiative and the Train the Trainers Course, it comes as a breath of a fresh air and we see this a wonderful initiative by CONCACAF to really get all the stakeholders tied into the game.”

“We have a very vibrant Primary Schools League and this is where the next generation of national team players will come from and therefore it is a critical level of our football which we at the TTFA and with the assistance of CONCACAF, will be placing heavy emphasis on. This NextPlay program compliments another nationwide Primary Schools program which our FA started earlier in the year,” Corneal added.

How Concacaf Next Play Works?

Collaborating with Member Associations and Ministries of Sport and Education, affiliated schools with a physical education curriculum can implement the program through a point of contact for specific activities, led preferably by the Technical Director. Our point of contact is the local coordinator who works in tandem with the Technical Director to ensure a successful execution of the program. All local coordinators are participants of the Concacaf Train the Trainer program which aims to develop coaching education instructors within our Member Associations.

Additionally, chosen volunteers complete the Concacaf E License qualification and participate in appropriate capacitation courses hosted by Concacaf, emphasizing the core principles of our brand, football, unity, quality and access. Through this program, we foster the social values of respect, inclusion, teamwork and integrity.

The Concacaf E License course not only prepares the volunteers to conduct age appropriate training sessions for the children but provides them with a series of practical on field recommendations on how to use the game to teach the social values of the program.

All volunteers also complete the mandatory Concacaf Safeguarding Children in Sport workshop.
Member Associations

In May 2018, Concacaf is launching the six-week program Member Associations within the Caribbean including the Bahamas Football Association, Barbados Football Association, Jamaica Football Federation, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, and the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF). It involves the following:
• 4 schools identified
• 5 volunteers per school
• 100 children per country (25 children per school)
• 500 children
• Two sessions per week

Program Principles

• Football:  Football comes first! The game simplified by small sided games with no complicated rules, allowing the player more opportunities to touch the ball and score goals.

• Fun: Creating an environment which brings joy and smiles to participants. Young players learn best in a player-centered and fun-filled environment free of pressure. The aim is to promote lifelong love and loyalty to the game.

• Friendship: The building of lasting relationships through playing football, mutual respect for the game and each other. The program aims to provide participants with opportunities to develop the necessary tools to appreciate diversity and build bridges.

• Fair play: The program provides an opportunity for children to play without discrimination, while developing social values such as respect for rules and each other, teamwork, drug-free participation, leadership, compassion and integrity.

• Future: The game is an important vehicle for socio-economic change and should be maximized in this regard. The emphasis should be on laying a proper foundation for a positive future for the players, enabling them to take full advantage of the many opportunities that will arise from their involvement in the game.