The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) announced the official launch of Concacaf NextPlay, a comprehensive grassroots development program that promotes access to football within the region, while leveraging the power of the game for good.
Concacaf NextPlay is a grassroots participation and mentoring program for kids, administered in six-week modules to provide children the tools to learn the game of football, while fostering a wide range of social values. NextPlay is executed in partnership with Concacaf’s Member Associations, as well as local schools and governments.
“Concacaf NextPlay will deliver widely on a core principle of our One Concacaf Vision — providing access to play the game, in meaningful and sustainable ways that unite our Confederation through football,” said Concacaf President Victor Montagliani. “We are proud to work with our Member Associations to partner with governments, schools and volunteers across the region to create a grassroots football delivery platform that will serve as an engine for both football growth and positive social impact in their respective markets.”
Concacaf launched the initial modules of the program on Saturday, alongside Member Associations within the Caribbean, with grassroots festivals taking place in four countries. The host Member Associations for the debut of the program include the Bahamas Football Association, Barbados Football Association, Jamaica Football Federation, and the Saint Vincent & the Grenadines Football Federation. A fifth program in Trinidad & Tobago will kick off later in the month.
Collaborating with Member Associations, volunteers and Ministries of Sport and Education, affiliated schools with a physical education curriculum will spearhead the implementation of the initiative, immediately impacting the lives of hundreds of children across the region.
Local coordinators in each country, with newly minted D-license coaching skills acquired through the Concacaf Train-the-Trainer program – the Confederation’s on-going coaching education program – will provide instruction through the NextPlay curriculum for the benefit of the selected school kids, ensuring lasting legacy on the education side for the participating institutions.
“NextPlay is built on solid methodology, to train coaches and work with young people on and off the field, while championing the social values of sport,” said Concacaf Director of Development Jason Roberts. “In addition to teaching kids the fundamentals of how to play the game, we are harnessing the love for our game to instill the right values, and transmit messages that will stay with these kids and young adults for a lifetime, whether they go on to become professional footballers, doctors, educators, or the like.”
Through the first series of NextPlay modules, Concacaf and its Member Associations have proudly partnered with government agencies in each country, including the Ministry of Education of the Bahamas, Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of Barbados, Ministry of Education of Jamaica, Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Culture of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and the Ministry of Education of Trinidad & Tobago.
Concacaf and the Member Associations will continue to closely monitor, evaluate and work with participants and partners, to identify opportunities to expand the NextPlay program and curriculum in the near future, further increasing access and participation in the game across Concacaf.