Monrovia Football Academy’s American director Will Smith, not the actor, is bringing a new way of combining playing soccer with education.
“We are combining the game with education,” Smith told the Daily Observer last Saturday at the BYC Field in Monrovia during a tryout and examination for prospective students to be selected to attend the ever popular program. The program attracted 500 kids.
Presently using rented facilities, Smith said MFA is working out modalities to build their own structures to cater to their students, as the MFA attracts more kinds.
At Saturday’s program, MFA volunteers registered hundreds of kids, identified and numbered them, before they were put in groups of five to play against each other, while other volunteers, with pen and notebooks on hand, graded the kids on their individual skills.
Smith said though the program costs US$100 per student, those who are unable to pay are considered and offered scholarships to attend the program.
“This is not one of the initiatives that are announced and later disappeared,” Smith said, “so while we have had support from the Liberia Football Association, we are hoping that in the future we can get additional support to be able to help many more Liberian kids.”
The one day tryout on Saturday was part of MFA’s recruitment exercise for boys and girls who not only played for 20 minutes during the rating system but also took an entrance exam comprised of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades test questions.
MFA selected 60 kids from both male and female groups and carried out individual interviews to select 50 kids to take part in a one-week MFA camp to be held from August 15-19.
“This creative addition will enable our staff to see the applicants operating in the MFA system; and most importantly, we will be able to assess academic performance within our classroom environment, allowing us to see the true academic potential of our applicants,” Smith said.