FIFA Heath holds Graduation

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More than 400 learners from Windhoek will on Friday graduate at the I. Shifidi Secondary School from the FIFA are Eleven for Health Pilot project as FIFA plans to expand the programme countrywide.

The FIFA delegation comprising of Doctor Collin Fuller, professor Jiri Dvorak and Dr Astrid Junge arrived in Namibia on Wednesday to witness and facilitate the graduation ceremony of 440 learners from 11 Windhoek schools that were part of the pilot project of the programe, FIFA 11 for Health initiative.

High ranking officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Education Ministry and the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Culture and National Service, as partner of the programme will also witness the proceedings on Friday.

The pilot project was implemented at the following primary schools in Windhoek: St. Barnabas, Eros, Bet-El, Augheikas, Mandume, Tobias Hainyeko, Aupa Indongo, Marthi Athisarri, Moses van der Byl and Michelle Mclean.

Also graduating on the day will be 22 teaches from these schools who were involved in the project, amply assisted by the Namibia Football Association through the office of the Programe Master coach Timothy Tjongarero.

After the graduation, 22 teachers that were involved in the pilot programe will be attending refresher course starting Monday 14 November to 19 November at Soccer House which will also include teachers form 20 new Windhoek schools that were not part of the pilot project.

A week later, starting 21 November, about 240 teachers representing the other 12 regions of the country will be attending a Cascade Training Course under the tutelage of the NFA master coach and the 12 selected teachers.

Also to be part of this training will be 12 selected teachers from the Windhoek school, who will assist the training of the other teachers to ensure that the success of Windhoek is replicated in other schools as well.

As part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup legacy programmes, 'The 11 for Health' programme was identified in several studies in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius as a highly effective tool to instill basic health discipline in youngsters and build a healthier nation by preventing the most relevant diseases threatening the people’s wellbeing.

Eleven renowned players have committed themselves to adopt the individual messages. Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is the symbol for fighting the spread of infective diseases by promoting “Wash your Hands”, and his club mate and reigning World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi contributes to preventing non-communicable diseases by advising “Eat a balanced diet".

South African female footballer Portia Modise is advocating “Drink Clean Water”, France’s Thierry Henry drives the message “Respect Girls and Women”. Cameroon’s Samuel Eto demonstrates how to “shield” against diseases such as Malaria by using treated bed-nets while Ivorian icon Didier Drogba is for “Shots to save lives” representing vaccination against disease.

The FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC) has made a commitment not only to provide the basic required materials such as balls, but also to supervise and counsel the implementation as well as to guarantee the necessary financial support for the project.