Development Through The Beautiful Game

Posted by on Jul 29, 2018 in African Partnerships


Those that know me well will know I am no fan of football. I can barely sit through a game which is one of my noted shortcomings according to two of my football passionate sons. However, I do admire what football and sport in general achieves in terms of bringing people together, opening conversations and creating platforms for youth and community development. 

In 2015 we started Grassroots Football, The Gambia,  by meeting with six team coaches in the area where we were working  in The Gambia and asked questions about where they felt they were in their development of their teams. We also went out and observed their teams during training sessions and then went to work supporting their efforts. We approached who have since donated hundreds of kits for us to distribute. That of course, brought its own problems as storage and actually getting them out to The Gambia has been expensive and time consuming  but so so worth it! 

20171210_130123Leader Fabian Robertson led Grassroots Football training for 17 coaches last December 2017. This provided training for the teams we had first approached and some others. Our Sister organisation in The Gambia, ‘Daughters of Africa Foundation’ (DOAF) with its  committee of community leaders allows all Vessel UK training to be effectively used and sustained making sure that the learning on the ground gained from the efforts of UK participants commitment to the training, preparation, resource gathering and delivery is fully used. Thus, Fabian was shadowed throughout the delivery of his project by Gambian Coach, Sanna Fatty who has since delivered and further developed the training for 32 more coaches and continues to use elements of the work to improve Gambian accreditation training.

The KitAid distribution of kits continues. The quality of the kits has been really outstanding. The DOAF Committee have continued to monitor the teams and make sure that kits are fairly and effectively distributed to players.  December 2018 will see the next stage of this journey as Vessel UK Leader Zikko Archer comes on his 3rd Journey with the Vessel UK, this time to deliver Grassroots Football, The Gambia/Youth,  for two teams; SOS Childrens’ Village and St Peters Secondary School. The bigger challenge for Gambia is establishing better training grounds and consistent good quality training. Our current focus is to source training equipment for December. Please do email us at if you can help. 

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