Hosts Special Olympics course

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Annemarie van Wierngen, Special Olympics South Africa healthy athletes manager, yesterday praised Safa for helping them to develop their coaches.

Van Wierngen was speaking at Johannesburg Stadium at the opening of the historic Fifa Football for Hope coaching course.

The four-day course is facilitated by the Safa coaching education department, which is headed by Kenneth "Conti" Kubheka.

"This is a new course, it started last year with three African countries [Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania] being part of the pilot project," said Van Wierngen.

"Fifa has decided to spread it to seven more countries on the African continent, we are excited to be part of the beneficiaries.

"We are assisted by Fifa but Safa are handling the issue of training our coaches so that the intellectually disables athletes get proper training.

"We would like to thank Safa for their role in helping to develop our soccer," said Van Wierngen.

She said the course has attracted more than 400 coaches.

"We were targeting 200 coaches as part of our pilot project in Gauteng.

"We are planning to spread to other provinces next year if Fifa will still be on board."

The other countries which have been included in the project this year include Cameroon, Benin, Uganda and Rwanda.

Kubheka said: "The course is the first of its kind in South Africa and we are excited to be helping the intellectually disabled people."