Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Football Academy (PFA) aims to give birth to golden generations of Papua both in the field and in life. However, it does not want to be a burden to the students.
During their dormitory-based education and training, PFA students learn according to their age. On average the students are 13-14 years old.
The teachers, coaches and staff at PFA use fun and exciting teaching methods to help students dealing with homesickness.
“Teaching teenagers means we have to balance between managing their happiness and avoiding the pressure that might be hampering their development,” said PFA Program Officer Rifky Aidi when contacted by Jubi on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
Even though students are trained to become reliable footballers in the future, Aidi said, they are also entitled to freedom of expression. PFA allows students to express themselves to bring a sense of comfort during training.
Because the students come from different backgrounds, the teachers, coaches and staff must understand how to handle the students and not cause them discomfort.
“We have to know how to behave to make them feel comfortable. All children have different characters,” he said.
Aidi said that ever since the PFA went on a tour in Java Island, many parties have shown interest in the students including clubs in League 1. However, PFA does not want to burden its students with the future. The joy and comfort of the students in the present time remains a priority.
“Not only League 1 clubs, many other parties are interested. But again, they are still children, that means they must have the opportunity to compete and enough time to hone their skills. The curriculum we adopted, filanesia, embraces their current instincts as children that likes to play,” he explained.
Aidi added that there were several overseas programs but the Academy must prepare themselves and the students first before joining such programs.
PFA is the first football academy in Indonesia to implement FIFA’s Children Safeguarding policy. The policy is FIFA’s campaign to promote football while protecting its integrity and bringing the game to everyone. PFA are in line with FIFA at promoting safe sport as part of a broader effort to protect human rights.
One of the cornerstones of this commitment is the FIFA Guardians program. The FIFA Guardians program provides a framework for 211 member associations to prevent any risk of harm to children in football and respond appropriately, as mentioned in article 3 of the FIFA Statutes and in line with article 23 of the FIFA Code of Conduct.
“Everyone in football has the right to protection from abuse, harassment, physical, emotional and sexual exploitation, neglect, and bullying,” he said. (*)