PIP resume training as grassroots football returns

Fadhil Yunus

Projek Ikan Pusu (PIP) resumed training for the first time since the widespread closure of outdoor sports facilities as grassroots football made a safe return at the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Football Field recently.

Projek Ikan Pusu Grassroots Football Development Programme members have begun efforts to restart training for different age groups.

The local academy followed strict guidelines set up by the authorities including body temperature checks and use of hand sanitisers. Players also wore masks upon arriving at the ground and scanned their QR code, which was set up near to the entrance to the field.

In line with the current guidelines for team sports, the training session only accommodated 15 players in two groups per session for the under-eight and under-10 players.

Normally, the local academy is able to attract hundreds of children but restrictions are currently in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19.

A Projek Ikan Pusu player during the body temperature check. PHOTO: PIP

“It is a pity that we were not able to involve more children as we had over 500 registered players,” said Head Coach Haji Omar bin Haji Jamil. Nevertheless, he appreciated the conduct of the players in complying with the guidelines as well as on the field during two training sessions last weekend.

The head coach also advised the players to continue follow the training guidelines set by the authorities.

“Only 15 players in two groups per session were possible for the under-10 and under-eight players. We hope things will improve from now onwards,” added the head coach.

Projek Ikan Pusu Manager Cheah Swee Ming also thanked the coaches for their services and NFABD to provide them the venue.

“We are at the fourth stage of de-escalation and hopefully, the coming weeks will result in more than 15 players per group of participation. We will have to wait for the next stage of de-escalation to have more players participating,” he added.

The academy has also reminded players to leave immediately upon the completion of the training session and practise social distancing.

Players must also be present 30 minutes before the start of the training session to further facilitate the pre-training process while parents and guardians must pick up the player on time.