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Fifa Live Your Goals (LYG) festival forms an integral part of grassroots football in Singapore

02:13 EAT 17/05/2018
LYG festival
LYG festival proves to be an important component in Singapore's grassroots football scene

The dark overcast clouds at the Fifa Live Your Goals (LYG) festival did nothing to dampen the spirits of those on the field. And even as the rain started to pour inevitably, providing those in attendance with a cold atmosphere, watching the kids on the field displaying passion for football, gave everyone a sense of warmth.

Significantly, as part of the celebration of this year's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Grassroots Football Day, the quarterly FIFA LYG Festival was held at Queensway Secondary and Bowen Secondary, on 12th and 13th of May. It featured small-sided games for girls aged six to 15, and was free-of-charge and open to the public. The festival proved to be an excellent platform as it allowed those from the opposite gender to get involved in football, underscoring the importance of grassroots event.

Meanwhile, the festival experienced a good turnout with parents bringing their daughters to participate in the footballing activities. A few boys were also allowed to take part in the activities with the coaches believing that inclusivity was better than having them idle by the sidelines. And it was this inclusivity that was at the heart of the event as the kids were allowed to form bonds with their peers and have a good time.

Through the sport, the participants learned values such as teamwork and communication, while they were allowed to explore their creativity through football. Intriguing was also seeing the girls enjoying the sport of football smashing the stereotype that only males can play football. Another important aspect of the event was the parents who constantly cheered on their children by the sidelines despite the aforementioned rain. Many of them too professed their undying belief that the festival is a good learning ground for their children to learn about the sport.

"It's a good exposure. The festival provides a place for them to play freely. Also through the festival my daughter now has more knowledge of football. Above all I just want them to enjoy themselves," said Mdm Hamidah, who brought her daughter to the festival.

On the other hand, the trainers at the festival too deserved to be commended for their unwavering dedication. Their patience in guiding a boisterous bunch group of children was a key factor in the event being productive. What's more impressive is the fact these trainers performed their duties because of passion and also a belief that they are grooming the future of Singapore football.

"I feel a sense of achievement as the kids progress. When they improve, we feel pride. The progress is important especially getting the techniques right. Some of them can represent the future of Singapore football," mentioned Yan Ping, a trainer at the festival.

All of this points to the fact that there is a strong sense of passion for the game in the country. The hope should be for the footballing bodies in Singapore to build more on the grassroots activities in the country. This is because for the nation to improve collectively in football, it all begins with the grassroots level. But above all credit to The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for organising such activities in their quest to promote grassroots football and the sport as a whole in general.