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SOHAR SO FAR SO GOOD!

First Outreach Programme a huge hit in Oman 

The first Kickworldwide Outreach Programme entitled ‘Football for Future’ is underway in the Middle East. Following almost twelve months of preparation and negotiations with the appropriate Ministries in the Sultanate of Oman, the first phase of the unique Outreach programme kicked off in September and is currently benefitting around 4000 children per month.

The programme is being delivered on behalf of the Oman Football Association following the launch of the Kickworldwide Institute in Muscat last year.

It has been made possible by a trio of sponsors who have demonstrated their social responsibility commitment by funding the Outreach Programme.

Sohar based companies ORPIC, Sohar Aluminium and Vale have come together to co-sponsor the pioneering programme in the Al Batinah North region of Oman with the cities of Liwa, Shinas and Sohar already benefitting.

The first phase sees the Kickworldwide team featuring former Leeds United and Stockport County player Neil Ross, local actor Isaaq Al Baloshi and Kickworldwide mascot ‘KW’ delivering fun presentations to around two hundred 6 to 12 year olds each day.

The presentation focuses on the importance of healthy eating, getting regular exercise and being a caring member of the community. There is a powerful section that concentrates on road safety and the importance of wearing seat belts and the finale warns the children of the dangers posed by alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

Each child receives a 44 page colour magazine to take home and a special tee shirt.

The children are encouraged to draw pictures highlighting what they have learned from the programme.

The reaction from the children and teachers has been incredible. One school principal in Liwa commented ‘We have been waiting for a  programme like this for a very long time. It is just what the children need’

Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi, OFA Chairman, said: ‘I am delighted that Kickworldwide and OFA are able to bring such a programme to Omani schools. This partnership will provide thousands of young school children with the opportunity to learn about a global sport, learn lifeskills and stay healthy.

OFA’s football initiatives in Oman allow us to connect with the wider community through a shared set of core values. We are passionate about the game, so I am very keen to see this partnership supporting the development of grassroots football in the country.’

Kickworldwide director Steve Bellis who helped to deliver the first presentation at Om Emara basic education school is delighted by the reaction to the programme ‘The look on the children’s faces show that they understand the importance of what we are teaching them and the enthusiasm for football is incredible. With the fantastic support of Orpic, Sohar Aluminium and Vale, we, along with the OFA, can make a real difference to these children by helping to instil key healthy lifestyle messages at such an early age. This is just the start however and we are looking forward to creating a team of young teenage leaders as the programme enters its next phase.’

The programme has the support of the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Education in Oman and also the British Embassy in Muscat.

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