UEFA has recognized the Georgian Football Federation with the silver medal in its Grassroots Award for significant contributions to the popularization of football and a healthy lifestyle and increasing the number of people engaged in the sport. Specifically, the Georgian Football Federation’s Amateur League project was awarded the 2018 UEFA Grassroots Award in silver for Best Grassroots Project.
This is the first time Georgia has received the award, seen as especially significant as UEFA is one of the top priorities for Georgian football.
“The Georgian Football Federation has received the silver prize for the first time in the history of the Grassroots Award. As you know, the number of people involved in football in today’s reality is the main challenge for [football in] Eastern Europe. Accordingly, this recognition is especially significant to the Georgian Football Federation. Several times we have mentioned that the initial point of the ‘football pyramid’ is youth football, and we should start developing from that stage. The UEFA Award is proof that the project, which embraces the whole country, plays an important role in the development of football in Georgia,” said Nika Jgharkava, Vice-President of the Georgian Football Federation.
The Amateur League has been held in Georgia since 2016 and its aim is to engage as many people as possible, using their love of football, in a healthy and active lifestyle.
There are 400 Amateur League teams across the country, represented in every municipality. This means that the standard 11-on-11 format generally has more than 8000 amateur players.
The Grassroots Award is given annually to national associations or federations in different categories, including the Best Leader, Best Club, and Best Grassroots Project. It was first award in 2010.
The Best Grassroots Project award aims to distinguish initiatives that are innovative, have a social component, and serve to increase and sustain public engagement in football and support the campaign UEFA RESPECT.
First place for the UEFA Grassroots Award in the Best Grassroots Project category went to Iceland’s FC Sækó for undertaking “impressive work to help improve the mental and physical health of people through football.”
By Samantha Guthrie
Photo: Ministry of Education, Science, Youth, and Sport
27 September 2018 09:03