Sports For Schools Programme

Sports for Schools (S4S) is an ambitious programme run by Marlboro College, in in collaboration 1st4Sport Qualifications, which aims to contribute to the education, development and empowerment of sports coaches in South Africa. It seeks to make sports education more accessible to coaches by incorporating sports education into the education system, in partnership with relevant authorities and stakeholders. The programme has been designed to promote targeted life skills and competencies through sports and contribute to South Africa’s National Development Plan to increase children participation in sport. The S4S Programme is aligned with global sport, education health policies, UNESCO’s Kazan Action Plan, the Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework of Action, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA).

Objectives of the Football for Schools Programme
The S4S Programme seeks to achieve the following five key outcomes:

  1. Introduce new sports qualification in South Africa
  2. Empower and provide coach-educators with the training to deliver sport and life-skills activities.
  3. Empower learners (boys and girls) with valuable life skills and competencies.
  4. Build the capacity of stakeholders (schools, MAs +4public authorities) to deliver training in life skills through football.
  5. Strengthen the cooperation between governments, MAs and participating schools to enable partnerships, alliances and intersectoral collaboration

The S4S Programme is guided by a results-based management framework and theory of change, which assumes that offering vocational and occupational qualifications in the active leisure, learning and well-being sector to school coaches, will eventually develop intrapersonal, interpersonal and cognitive skills amongst learners, in addition to producing gains in knowledge and positive attitudes, will help them to develop life skills and competencies. If this is done within an enabling, inclusive and caring environment that promotes individual learning and development, along with a combination of sports and life skills, the programme has the potential to contribute to individual and community change and consequently to the identified SDGs.

Project timeline
The s4S Programme was launched in 2024 with pilot projects in Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal. The S4S Programme will be re-launched in other regions in 2025 and will run until 2023 at least. A more detailed draft timeline, subject to change, will be circulated in due course.

Why schools?
Schools remain the most effective and efficient avenue in which to engage young people in sport. South Africa is one of the countries in the world that does not have an effective club structure. The S4S is committed to ensuring that children at school receive opportunities. The S4S Programme aims to ensure that coaching education to all teachers. Anyone who want to coach sports must know that it is possible to do so through their school or community, using the facilities available in the country. While the main remit of this programme is to support the provision of sports coaching and equipment to schools, FIFA encourages its member associations and in-country partners to recognise the importance of engaging with out-of-school youngsters. Given that many schools lack equipment and qualified personnel to deliver football activities, FIFA will provide equipment (footballs) through its MAs as well as this online learning platform and a mobile application that provides easy-to-use content for training sessions. It is hoped that the platform will help educators, coaches and parents to better support, deliver and manage F4S activities in their schools and communities. The F4S Programme can enable schools to tackle a range of social issues, while providing an attractive vehicle in which to engage and educate learners, and even motivate educators too. The F4S Programme is not designed to detract from teaching or classroom time, and it is in fact intended to complement the efforts of educators and advance education outcomes, thus assisting governments. Football is capable of playing a vital role in the education system and acting as a “school of life”.