FIFA instructor and former All White goal-keeper James Bannatyne is currently on Rarotonga to deliver a FIFA Grassroots Coaching course for the Cook Islands Football Association this week.
The five-day course which aims to enhance the coaches’ knowledge on player development with a specific focus on creating a grassroots football environment got underway on Monday afternoon at the CIFA Complex.
A total of eighteen coaches from the various football clubs on the island are participating in the course and have already shown enthusiasm towards the theory and practical sessions over the last two days.
This being his first time to the Cook Islands Bannatyne finds the opportunity to be a privilege and one he was excited for.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to visit your beautiful country and now that I have that chance I hope to deliver the expectations CIFA requires of me in enhancing grassroots level football here,” he said.
The FIFA instructor believes the course will be beneficial for the coaches in equipping them with the necessary tools to deliver learning and enjoyable football environments for children.
“A lot of what they’ll learn should enable the participants with the ability to set up age-relevant activities for children to enjoy and learn the game of football,” he said.
“Hopefully by the end of this course, after they’ve received their certificates they will apply everything that they’ve learnt back into their club environments.”
Over the next couple of days Bannatyne will broaden the horizons on player development and habits, code of conduct, different characteristics of children in grassroots level football, organization of festivals and talent identification versus selection.
Assisting him throughout the course is CIFA’s technical director Jess Ibrom who said it was an honour to have someone of Bannatyne’s experience come to the Cook Islands to deliver the course.
“We are very fortunate to have James come over and run this grassroots level course for us,” he said.
“I think it gives the coaches a fresher approach and different perspective to teaching children the game of football, which is always a positive towards development in the Cook Islands.”
The FIFA Grassroots coaching course will end on Friday afternoon with a presentation of certificates to the participants.