The final whistle for YDF

By Sascha Glowik


Before leaving the soccer pitch for a final time, the Youth Development through Football (YDF) programme handed over their YDF Toolkit to the South African Football Association (SAFA) at an official ceremony held in Johannesburg on 27 February. The German Ambassador to South Africa, Dr Horst Freitag, and the President of SAFA, Dr Danny Jordaan, joined the official handover from GIZ to SAFA.

To support the preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, Germany and South Africa launched several programmes. One of these – YDF – was launched in 2007. YDF cooperated closely with governmental and non-governmental institutions that use football for youth development. The project was part of the Mass Participation Programme initiated by the Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the YDF team worked closely with schools and sports coordinators.

The YDF Toolkit, which has now been handed over to SAFA, is a set of manuals that teaches coaches how to integrate life-skills education in football exercises. It was developed by YDF with input from experts in the various topics that are covered by the manuals, which include gender awareness, HIV prevention, environmental awareness and violence prevention.

“Handing over the toolkit and the whole programme to SAFA is a perfect example of Germany’s aim for development cooperation with South Africa,” said Dr Freitag during the ceremony. “‘Ke Nako – it is time!’ was the slogan of the FIFA World Cup 2010™. Now it is time for SAFA to take over. For this I wish you all the best.”

A goal that all GIZ programmes share is to ensure that they are sustainable, said Christiane Kalle, Country director of GIZ South Africa.”It fills us with pride to see that as this programme comes to the end, the partner institutions can take over everything that GIZ helped to build and can keep the project alive on their own. The goal is to leave behind a living legacy.”

For the coming years, SAFA plans to train more than 10.000 football coaches with the manuals handed over from YDF to SAFA. The impact of this project will be tremendous as every coach will reach a huge number of young football talents who will benefit as well.

GIZ South Africa will also stay involved through its Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) programme, whose skilled staff will provide expertise on violence-prevention issues and continue to use the Toolkit.

The programme was funded by the German government and the European Union in close cooperation with SRSA.