Oceania Football Confederation is investing in the future of players, coaches and administrators in the region – while also building towards the objectives of the OFC Strategic Plan – through their ground-breaking initiative, the OFC Education Centre.
Launching in Cook Islands and Tonga next week, the Oceania-wide programme will provide each member association with an educational institute where participants will be able to learn and share knowledge, skills and experience in football.
Participants will receive OFC-recognised training in a range of football topics through a curriculum divided into four levels – foundation courses, certification courses, licencing courses and refresher courses – and will gain regionally-recognised accreditation as they progress through the levels.
OFC President David Chung believes the locally-implemented but Oceania-aligned curriculum will help OFC better provide for the future by offering a clear development pathway for participants and qualification that is transferrable across OFC’s 11 member associations.
“OFC has always offered courses to our Member Associations,” Chung said.
“What is different now is these courses will be implemented by local instructors that have received direct training and support from OFC to deliver a standardised curriculum.
“This will ensure that every player, coach and administrator in the Oceania region can receive equal opportunities for qualification and careers in football.
“Their credentials will be recognised in any member association in Oceania and graduates will become part of an Oceania-wide network of alumni.”
With capable and enthusiastic teams ready to lead on the ground, OFC Head of Education Giovani Fernandes is excited to see mutual benefits and growth at all levels as instructors and participants develop together through the programme.
“By empowering local leaders to deliver the courses we are able to create an accessible and environmentally tailored educational institute,” he said.
“Our instructors have practical knowledge based on years of working in football and other sports environments which they will use to enhance participants’ learning experiences.
“This will help participants improve their abilities and further develop in their careers while also providing an opportunity for our instructors to build on their experience and learn while educating others.”
Cook Islands will lead the way for Oceania when they launch the pilot programme on Monday 18 September ahead of Tonga’s launch on Saturday 23 September.
Although leading the launch will be a challenging and unpredictable journey, Cook Islands Football Association President Lee Harmon is feeling confident about setting the bar high after a strong period of milestones and positive development for Cook Islands.
“We are very fortunate to be at the forefront of the implementation of this project,” Harmon said.
“Football in the Cook Islands continues to develop; our women finished third at the Pacific Games in 2015 and we made the semi-finals of the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship this year.
“However, to keep improving and reaching new milestones we must establish a solid foundation of football leaders and the OFC Education Centre is going to help us to do that.”
The launch of the OFC Education Centre pilot for the Cook Islands will take place at Cook Islands Football Association Academy in Matavera, Cook Islands, on 18 September at 10:30am (local time).