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Street football to be trialled

The Gibraltar Football Association, in collaboration with the youth services is understood will be trialling out a planned Street Football programme in the coming weeks.
The association has been in discussions with Minister for Youth Christian Santos and Youth Services representatives during the past months after proposals were tabled to promote street football in Gibraltar.
The proposals, which had been originally initiated with the assistance of two local youth coaches, are understood to have been well received by Government officials. The programme, which is aimed at promoting and encouraging street football comes at a time when deep concerns have continued to be expressed within the football community of the lack of street football being seen on the Rock in recent years. The entry of Gibraltar into UEFA membership, along with a more disciplined structure around football and its clubs and an increase in more professional facilities, has been followed by a decrease in the sport at a recreational level, with young players less likely to be seen playing in playgrounds and as a leisure activity in recent years. This impacting in part the development of the sport with what many believe to be a key part of the skillset and confidence which is gained through the less formal structure of the game in Street football lost in recent years.
As an initial step towards promoting “Street football” a chosen location is understood to have been decided upon with the prospect of the programme being extended into other areas across Gibraltar. The association is understood will be providing its resources in taking the programme forward alongside the youth services.
The programme comes at a time when the Gibraltar FA continues to develop its community oriented programmes, including working alongside other Government agencies in using its resources to provide community oriented programmes, many of which the association is reluctant in making known widely as it focuses on the benefits of the programmes rather than the PR such programmes could generate for them.
It also comes at a time when the sports governing bodies have been pushing the ideas of street football, community football and recreational football, the latter another area which the Gibraltar FA is currently looking towards.
In March the Minister for Youth Services and Equality revealed the first meetings with the Gibraltar FA in a social media post “Minister Santos met with GFA representatives Julian Valverde, Steven Gonzalez and Kim Macedo along with Youth Services’ Mark Zammit and Abdul Afrah to discuss a proposal for a Street Football Programme.
This inclusive programme will appeal to young people who want to play football casually, make friends and take some exercise outside of the more structured traditional team or league construct.”

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