Learners Appreciate Galz and Goals [opinion]

Lovisa Mulunga (15) a tenth grader from the Olaukondjele Combined School with the Amaroka team, and Millicent Hikuam (11), a seventh grader with the Ohehonge Combined School, appreciate the Galz and Goals project.

“The project has helped me a lot because I have managed to stay away from most of the bad things many kids are into like alcohol. I would rather play football and gain more knowledge into this sport. The major problem we face as youths is teenage pregnancies and HIVAIDS infections,” says Mulunga.”Living a healthy life for me means not sleeping with boys at my age. I should stay away from drugs, smoking and drinking. We have learnt a lot about condoms but l shall be a team member of Amaroka until l graduate to Grade 8,” Hikuma adds in support. The Eenhana Primary School has been crowned the 2014 Galz and Goals Champions awards here on Saturday receiving a trophy and gold medals.

The young learners were honoured at a colourful ceremony at the Eenhana Multi-Purpose Centre in the Under -13 category. The second teaml is from the Olaukondjele Combined School whose team Amaroka fared very well and saw them collecting silver medals while the third prize went to the Super Strikers from Ohehonge Combined School. A total of 49 girls’ team from the Ohangwena region took part in the Under – 13, Under – 15, Under-17 and Under-20 leagues. Eenhana Galz and Goals Coordinator, Frederick Sitali, explains that his committee further proved its dedication in the empowerment of girls through educational football and health lifestyle activities by hosting activities such as Mommies Day and other carnivals to create awareness about the benefits of girls playing football.

“We should also appreciate the support from the Directorate of Sport within the Ministry of Youth and Sports who support the implementation of the programmes at regional and national levels. These awards were made possible by the involvement of UNICEF, Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNAIDS and SCORE (Sports Coaches Outreach) which donated finances for the activities throughout the year,” he explains

The Galz and Goals initiative is a partnership between the Namibian Football Association (NFA), UNICEF, SCORE, GIZ and UNAIDS to empower girls across the whole country. “Our target is mainly those girls aged 9 – 15 to live healthy through participation in football leagues and festivals. The programme focuses on enhancement of life skills and prevention of HIVAIDS, working towards achieving increase of self worth, to provide knowledge in order to make health choices, to provide increased opportunity for adolescent girls to play sport and to influence social change by dispelling gender myths in communities,” Sitali explains further.

Currently, the initiative operates in ten regions across Namibia with each town hosting its own festivals and running their successful leagues. About 1 101 girls were registered into the 2010 Galz and Goals league with more than 1 700 girls participating. It has 180 coaches who have been trained in its integrated Life Skills and Basic Football Coaching curriculum provided by the NFA and SCORE Namibia.

Source : New Era