By Ameenu Shardow
Thirty Physical Education teachers and coaches are in the final day of a FIFA health training program in Accra.
The program dubbed â€˜FIFA 11 for Healthâ€™ is aimed at encouraging physical activities and educating children on healthy behaviours.
Twenty two (22) physical education teachers drawn from seventeen schools in Accra and eight coaches took part the the five-day training program held at the Ghanaman Soccer School of Excellence in Prampram.
The trained participants will become the instructors for the implementation of a six-month pilot program to train other physical education teachers across Ghana.
The FIFA project is being undertaken by the FIFA â€“ Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC).
â€œThis program is aimed at using football which is the passion of the nation to increase the interest of children in physical activities while also improving their health status,â€ the National Project Leader for this FIFA initiative Dr. Prince Pambo told GHANAsoccernet.com.
â€œStudies have shown that children appear closer to their teachers than anyone else and therefore the use of physical education teachers in this program.
â€œIt is our expectation that participants in this program will impart the knowledge acquired here to the children in the various schools.
â€œFor instance things like the need to exercise regularly, washing of hands, eating fruits, using condoms and other many ways of staying fit are some of the key messages we look to send out to the children.â€
The â€˜FIFA 11 for Healthâ€™ program is comprised of eleven, 90-minute sessions; each session of two 45-minute halves.
The first half is called â€˜Play Footballâ€™ and focuses on teaching youngsters skills related to a specific aspect of football.
The second half is called â€˜Play Fairâ€™ and is concerned with education on health issues and healthy behaviours.
The program has successfully been implemented South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania.