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Yangon: Some 60 participants gathered for a ‘Social Development through Football’ seminar, aimed at enhancing the capabilities of grassroots coaches in Myanmar on June 8 as part of the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) social responsibility efforts in the Southeast Asian nation.

In his opening address, Than Zaw, General Secretary of the Myanmar Football Federation and AFC Social Responsibility Committee Member, stressed the need to equip coaches with the tools to leverage on the power of football as a force for social development.

He added that the seminar was a landmark, first-of-its-kind event for football in Myanmar and represented the MFF’s ambitions to forge closer ties with key stakeholders - which include local NGOs and government agencies – in order to deliver better quality programmes throughout the nation.

AFC Head of Social Responsibility, Dr Annathurai Ranganathan, shared the AFC’s future plans and presented insights on the best ways to integrate social responsibility with grassroots campaigns and programmes. 

Dr. Lwin Lwin Aye, Assistant Director from the Ministry of Health apprised participants on the inherent correlation between health and sports and how football can play an integral role to increase awareness on prevalent medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the dangers of smoking.

The seminar concluded with participants commending both the MFF and the AFC for the valuable insights gained and for driving social responsibility in Myanmar.

Women’s Grassroots coach, Ms Zin Mar Wann added that the seminar provided a good first step towards establishing better social responsibility programmes in the future, particular in the area of youth football and character building and development.