The Youth Football Association’s General Assembly for season 2022-2023 was held on Friday, at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali.
Addressing the assembly, Norman Darmanin Demajo, the Youth FA president, reaffirmed the association’s commitment to provide more opportunities for children to practise and enjoy the game of football in a safe and empowering environment.
Darmanin Demajo explained that the association has revised its statute in line with its present roles and responsibilities, reflecting the increased focus on the social responsibility aspect as laid out in its Mission Statement: “The Youth FA shall promote the growth and development of youth football, fostering a nurturing and safe environment that values participation, equality and inclusion, through dedicated programmes that are designed to empower and inspire young athletes to enjoy football and to ‘live it with love’.”
Darmanin Demajo said: “For decades, the Youth FA was synonymous with the organisation of the youth football competitions but when the scenario changed, we asked ourselves… how can we be of service?
“We have had internal discussions on how the Youth FA can remain relevant and supportive of our clubs and nurseries. It is our firm belief that the Association still has a role to play in Maltese football, especially at youth level.
“We have identified three main pillars, namely inclusion and participation of our children as football is for all, the importance of education and greater awareness about safeguarding as our children must be protected from all forms of abuse and addictions, including the excessive use of social media, and continuous professional education.”
Earlier this month, the Youth FA and the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding through which the two organisations will be undertaking a series of joint-initiatives focusing on prevention.
The sessions are aimed at helping all persons involved to enhance their life skills and promote a healthy lifestyle, in the process raising awareness about drugs, alcohol, gambling, the problematic use of technology and other behavioural addictions.
EVENTS AND INITIATIVES DURING SEASON 2022-2023
Presenting the administrative report for season 2022-2023 during Friday’s General Assembly, Stephanie Rocco, the General Secretary of the Youth FA, provided an overview of the events and initiatives organised by the Association over the past 12 months.
The activities included: Organisation of several fun festivals under the Enjoying The Game pillar for U-7, U-9 and U-11 teams which saw the participation of over 900 children throughout the season;
Educational initiatives – seminar on the use of Comet, the Malta FA’s data management system, and three sessions about the Laws of The Games; Sessions about substance abuse and its effects for U-15 and U-17 players in collaboration with the FSWS and Aġenzija Sedqa;
Sessions for nursery administrators about safeguarding of children and youths;
Handling of over 3,200 grassroots registrations, an increase of 1,121 over the previous season;
Over 30 one-on-one meetings with local youth nurseries.
Emphasising the Youth FA’s commitment to keep supporting the nurseries and consolidating its social responsibility programmes, Ms Rocco said: “We strongly believe that a safe and positive environment is crucial for the development of our football-loving children and youths.
“Our nurseries are at the forefront of this mission and the Youth FA is thankful for their efforts. We are sure that the children will always cherish the memories you helped to create for them during their nursery days when they grow up.”
The majority of the people working at youth nursery level are volunteers and this year the Youth FA is celebrating 40 years of volunteering in youth football.
To commemorate this milestone, the association is planning to host an educational seminar followed by a social event for all youth nurseries in the coming months.
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