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Kickworldwide's outreach programme for schoolkids finally launched in Oman  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 08/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) After nearly a year's delay, Kickworldwide, a UK-based company, will formally launch its outreach programme in Oman in the town of Liwa, in the Batinah region, on Monday.Kickworldwide will run this programme in association with the Oman Football Association (OFA).Upbeat over his organisation's first development project in the GCC region, Steve Bellis, the director of Kickworldwide, told Muscat Daily, This is the first time we brought the programme out of England. The response has been amazing since we started work on September 17. Tomorrow is a formal ceremony to mark the programme's start.Bellis said that in the opening weeks they managed to bring in more than 500 children - all eight to 12 year olds - in the programme's fold. In 18 weeks, we expect to rope in 18,000 schoolchildren. We will also launch a leadership course for 13 to 16 year olds, and we expect another 3,000 to join us at the same time, he said. To have around 20,000 children in 18 weeks will be the start of our long-term association with Oman.Bellis intends to turn this initiative - which will provide free education to the kids through football - into the biggest outreach programme for schoolchildren in the world. Muscat will remain our hub here even if we expand this project to other GCC countries, he said.During the programme, the kids will get a bilingual magazine, with an autographed photo of Oman's star footballer Ali al Habsi, which advises on road safety, the ill effects of drug abuse and alcohol consumption, and photographs of football teams from various clubs in the region.Neil Ross, a former Leeds player and UEFA coaching licence holder, is in charge of the first phase. Kickworldwide is also looking to depute a professional woman coach soon.To make the programme appealing to the kids, a London double-decker bus - already a popular landmark in Liwa - will be used as a classroom next to the grounds where the youngsters will train. A total of 50 kids at a time, under the leadership course, will attend classes on the upper deck while they will get gifts from KW, the bear - the programme's mascot.Speaking on other initiatives in Oman, Bellis said, We are in talks with Modern College of Business and Science (MCBS) to start sports-related courses. We hope to begin in November.Kickworldwide had already launched its institute last year along with the MCBS in cooperation with the OFA. After the Batinah project, Kickworldwide plans to take the programme to the Salalah, Sur and Muscat regions.


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