Spirit of Soccer Educates 29 Coaches in Laos and Holds Grassroots Development Festival

Spirit of Soccer organized a Football ‘D’ License coaching course for 29 participants in Xieng Khouang Province in partnership with the Lao Football Federation (LFF) and support from the US Government. The course was led by Mr. Somsack Keodala with support from Spirit of Soccer CEO, Scotty Lee. Mr. Keodala is Technical Director of LFF and has over 37 years of experience with an AFC ‘A’ Coaching certification. He was joined by two assistant coaches from the LFF, Sysavemy Saysanasy and Somphoe Duangdara.

The first day of the course started with the basics of coaching as Mr. Keodala began his lecture with the ‘Role of a Coach’. He encouraged the candidates to be confident in their public speaking abilities and asked each coach to introduce themselves to the class. The first half of the day consisted of lectures in the classroom while the second half of the day the candidates engaged in practical sessions on the pitch. 

On the second day, Scotty Lee taught a practical session in the morning on dribbling and ball control followed by an inspiring lecture on leadership. He stressed the importance of communication, responsibility, respect and positivity. He urged the coaches to be innovative and unafraid to try new drills. After the lecture, three of the participants shared stories to the entire class on how they had been directly affected by UXO. Below is one of the stories from Mr. Yea Yang, a teacher from the Thonper Secondary School:

In of May 2015, my brother-in-law went to visit his friend next door to have dinner. They cooked together making a fire at the back of the house unaware a UXO was buried under the fire. The UXO exploded and his friend was in hospital for 3 months until he lost his life. My brother-in-law lost his left leg and is now disabled. 

On Thursday March 21st, 2019, Scotty Lee and In-Country SOS manager, Mr. Phoutthasak Chounramany met with the newly appointed Xieng Khouang Governor, Mr. Bounton Chanthaphone at his office in Phonsavan village, Pek District, Xiengkhouang province.  Mr. Chanthaphone shared a story about his nephew being killed by UXO at the age of seven and expressed the importance of educating children and youth about the dangers of landmines. Also in attendance were Mr. Bounsouk Thirasack, the Director General of the Department of Physical & Arts Education Ministry of Education and Sport and Mr. Thonyphew Sipanya, the Director of Department of Education & Sports Xieng Khouang Province. Both Mr. Thirasack and Mr. Sipanya showed further support for the program by attending the theory session that afternoon.  

(L-R) Scotty Lee, Bounsouk Thirasack, Thonyphew Sipanya

On Friday March 22nd, Spirit of Soccer and the Lao Football Federation hosted a Grassroots Development and Mine Risk Education (MRE) Festival {Yuan Village, 2 km rom Phonsavan, Pek District, Xiengkhouang province.The festival drew over 142 participants from 4 different schools and the 29 candidates were tested on the skills they had learned during the week. The festival began with eight stations, four of which included MRE curriculum. After completing all eight stations, the participants were divided up into teams to play three matches. At the end of the mini tournament the participants were awarded notebooks with important MRE messages and enjoyed an early lunch provided by Spirit of Soccer. 

Following the festival, all 29 candidates received their “D” License Coach Certification presented by Mr. Thirasack, Mr. Scotty Lee, Mr. Phoutthasak Chounramany, and Mr. Keodala. Spirit of Soccer would like to congratulate all the coaches and thank the US Government for their continued support. 

All photos by the Laos Football Federation.

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