The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) honoured the advocates of grassroots football and the Woman Youth Coach of the Year for their contributions to the sport at the AFC Special Grassroots and Elite Women’s Youth Football Awards 2019, which was held in conjunction with the 2nd AFC Women’s Football Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Japan’s Eiichiro Matsuki received the Best Grassroots Leader award while Paro FC from Bhutan and ISF Football Programme were conferred the Best Grassroots Club and Best Grassroots Project accolades respectively.
Meanwhile, full-time teacher Chan Shuk Chi of Hong Kong, who is an AFC-KFA Pro-Diploma license coach and current Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) U12 Girls’ team head coach, was named the Youth Coach of the Year (Female) in the award ceremony.
The prestigious awards honoured the game’s unsung heroes who dedicate their time and resources towards spreading the joy of football, as part of the AFC’s continued commitment and mission to promote the sport at the grassroots level.
Matsuki, who has been involved in grassroots football since 1977, received the award for his work in grassroots activities which include nurturing the turfs in kindergartens, elementary schools and parks through the support of the JFA Green Project.
Singapore’s Lim Chong Sing, a volunteer since 1986 in grassroots projects, was also recognised in the Best Grassroots Leader Category.
Matsuki said: “I’m proud to receive this award but my involvement in grassroots football is from pure passion. A big thank you to the AFC and JFA for their strong support and vision to continue promoting football at the grassroots level. It is important that the sport reaches different communities across Asia.”