The Football Federation of Belarus (BFF) has showcased the link between the grassroots game and the elite by organising an open day for children that took place around the Belarus Super Cup match between FC BATE Borisov and FC Gomel in Minsk in early March.
Following the success of a similar arrangement on the day of the traditional curtain-raiser of the Belarusian season last year, more than 120 youngsters aged between five and 12 from public schools and specialised sports colleges in Minsk took part in fun-based activities, with girls making up 30% of participants.
The day consisted of two parts. First, the children were split into several groups and taken on a tour of the BFF headquarters where they had the chance to get acquainted with the working process of the federation at all levels. Then, a football festival was held, with the youngsters working in groups on various skills under the guidance of experienced instructors.
The activities included learning about the goalkeeper's job, working with the ball on basic and more difficult skills, and short matches with referees. There was also a tournament for pupils from the various schools, with the ensuing awards ceremony being conducted by BFF vice-president Sergey Safaryan.
"The idea of the day was to give a feel of football to kids, some of whom had never touched a ball before," said the BFF's Yulia Zenkovich. "Nothing could be compared to the look of joy in the children's eyes."
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