Donamisports and the Liberia Football Association have agreed to work together to develop grassroots soccer, preliminary discussions between the two groups concluded yesterday.
Representing Donamisports, a United States based not for profit organization that provides support to kids’ soccer, Doc Lawson, its president said the agreement with the LFA will provide another level for the development of youth soccer in the country.
“We take kids from three years and up to eleven and fourteen in our network and expose them to play at that level in their communities. After that the LFA will take charge of them,” Doc Lawson told the Daily Observer yesterday after the meeting at the headquarters of the Liberia Football Association.
He said Donamisports, along with Liberia YMCA has community volunteers that ensure the effective organization of its programs.
“We conclude programs for kids from 6 to the 12 with Under 11 and Under 14 games in communities in West Point, New Kru Town, Capitol By Pass, Clara Town and others in Kakata, Harbel and Gbarnga,” he noted.
He told LFA technical director Henry Browne that Donamisports will expand its outreach to Lofa, Maryland, Nimba, Grand Kru and Grand Gedeh next year.
“We expect to work with 20,000 kids or more and at the end of the program we also intend to host all-stars competition with players coming from all the areas that we will host our games,” Lawson said.
He noted that it is after the all-star competition that he expects the LFA to take over the program so that he would return to re-organize for the following year another groups of kids from the grassroots.
Though it could take around USD3,000 for the all-star competition to bring winners to converge at the Antoinette Tubman, Lawson said his outfit could cover half of the expenses and let the LFA to cover the other half.
He noted that USD100,000 is spent by his outfit, including sports equipment, for his program throughout the communities.
Responding, technical director Browne commended Donamisports for the grassroots nature of the program and said it would complement LFA’s interest to grow youth football throughout the country.
“We will then be able to have a pathway for kids to grow in their understanding of the game,” he said.
Browne said the LFA is excited about the program and after initial proposal is drawn up would forward it to the LFA’s executive committee for consideration.
“We want to thank Donamisports for this wonderful idea and I think it will help move our youth football program forward,” Browne said.
It may be recalled that Donamisports/YMCA completed an Under 14 soccer tournament, selected an all-star team intended to have participated in the 2014 Dallas Cup tournament in the United States, but was called off due to the Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the special soccer and kickball tournaments organized in the Township of West Point to honor Doc Lawson will conclude on Sunday at the Dosa field.
Participating teams include U-11 and U-12 categories and Doc Lawson is expected to make presentations of trophies and other awards to the winners on Sunday.