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Increasing the numbers of sports schools always is an indicator for the social development, progress, and the growing prosperity. Mainly, the number of sports schools, particularly football schools, always depends on the number of children who want to engage in sports.

Football camp in Turkey

This article is based on our view to the basics of football schools and builds on information about the football sector. But the subject of an article is education and childhood development and it will be relevant to other sports schools too.

Firstly, we should underline that “children and sport” is a subject which has a great meaning for our society, for human and children rights. Because only by having the right policy according to children sports we can raise the healthy, free and strong generations.

In this case, the principals and organizations which were built in our country (Turkey) have crucial meanings. Maybe there are some lacks and defects but we have an understanding of the problem and desire to develop the youth sport.

Especially, “physical Culture” was not much popular in our society, because of some stereotypes about “the physical Culture is an instrument to creating the military society”, which had the harmful impact to our society.

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As a result of republic society approach and understanding, we got the first examples of how the modification General Directorate of Sports (GSGM), Turkey Training Community Alliance (TİCİ), General Directorate of Physical Education (BTGM) are doing outstanding work in developing central and provincial sports organizations.

There is no need for long explanations of what does “the Public approaches” mean and how it works. The sport in its connection to human and children rights is one of the instruments which help create a more successful and happy society. In this sense, the ministry of education and sport within sports schools, provincial and district sports organizations shows itself as a social sports planner and organizer.

But a lot of spot schools meet the different problems, which seriously impediment to the sports development among children. These problems: lacking sports equipment, a shortage of high-quality sports places and fields, problems of sports lessons, crowded lessons, shortage of high qualification sports teachers etc. Unfortunately, all these problems avoid a big number of talented children to go in the professional sport; they stay only in “school sports team”.

Likewise, the situation in the province is the same, a small number of children provided by the opportunity to join professional sports. Besides, football federation is an autonomous institution here and we even can’t talk about any deep work in the province. And all that's left just sports clubs. The sports clubs which were established as a subsidiary to the federation don’t comply with their obligations. Children take place in premier Liga or in age class of these clubs. There are average 20 children in each group. In the summertime, they get the paid service of one or maximum two-month sports camping.

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And one of the biggest problems in children sport, that children who live out of cities and towns have no opportunity to join any sports club. We can’t justify ourselves be saying, that the main part of children lives in cities. The statistic shows that only 1 of 20 and sometimes even 1 of 50 children in the 8-15 age category can join the sports organization and others have no opportunity for this. It’s very pessimistic numbers.

Children of our country with a small number of exceptions can’t get enough hours of sports lessons and enjoy sports activities. There a great numbers of children who deprived to join the sports they want, to develop their physical characteristic because of all these organization issues.

We need new sports facilities, sports buildings in the places and old facilities should be restored and brought into operation.

Another reason for the plight situation is giving the preferences only for club sports kinds but not to the common sport and don’t give enough attention to physical education in schools. Actually, the schools should be the biggest source of sport talented children, but they stay far from this role. And sports clubs policy is to be interested in one group of productive children because they interested only in winning.

Our government as like forget about its own obligations in the advancement of sports in the community and does nothing to turn the situation in children sport for the better. And it’s natural that begin to increase numbers of private sports schools, summer football camps, that can be a viable alternative instead government’s sports schools and help at least somehow correct the policy according to the children sports.

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Private sports schools and summer sports camps are very popular, but shouldn't overestimate their importance. They are temporary and limited. They spark the children interest in the sport, but when the camp is over children lose the connection with sports again.

The summer camps help to identify talented children, who can find himself in professional sport in the future.

The football schools which became one separate sector by itself is a contradict issue in our country. The contradiction of this issue Is not in the term “football school” but in their quantity. Today we have hundreds of football schools. What are their purposes and goals?

In the article we are not going to refer to the issue of their qualities or professionalism, it’s worth to devote the theme another different conversation. But what about “is there so big need to such a big number of only football schools”? We should understand and determine what can give to our country such a big quantity of football schools.

TFF has determined all rules and laws regarding the opening football schools and operating conditions. According to these rules, everybody who follows the conditions can become the owner of a football school. The main thing that we want to discuss regarding these schools is what their place in our government’s football policy and development.

To show our preoccupation more clear we wrote it down as a paragraph.

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  • The countries which have successful football policy and the big number of professional teams don’t perform their policy through the “football schools”. They work in other way, youth footballers come to the center of federation from premier Liga of regional and local parts of clubs of the federation.
  • Schools have their educational obligations. The reason “to develop the sportsmen” is not enough. The school purpose is to lead children to another higher level. And there is no other level for this kind of schools.
  • The school by all its meaning demand from “football school” is to follow some definite conditions, as like place, professional personnel, program, and others. In case all these conditions are ignored, we can’t call them ‘’school”, at least it’s course or seminars.
  • The football schools, on condition that, stay as a school, should have close contact with the federation and should work inside international and the country’s sport and football frames. And it can be achieved only under the club’s guidance. It must work under federation coordination, by introducing them into international football policy and unity.

And all other variations, no matter how good it looks, can’t be a called as a football school. It’s just organizations made on money traffic and has a goal of enrichment due to football. It has no impact on football development; doesn’t give new professional footballers, it’s just a hobby. Unfortunately, it’s our today situation in Turkey.

What is the solution to the problem?

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  • Clubs don’t invest in such schools. They have no obligations according to them, no connection. The club is the first who should be interested in football development. And they should take a direct part in the school's work and make a close connection between premier league and football schools.
  • The football schools must be maintained at the expense of the football budget and to become the organic part of the premier league. It can make the federation feel responsible and interested in the schools.
  • The federation can make a new educational policy regarding the football schools, which will be made upon unity, combining, enlarging, strengthening, qualification and exclude the policy of intimidation. The new educational system by using effective techniques and models can open new football potential.
  • The football schools need to be clean from merchant and market logic, which build upon unprofessional use of trainers and teachers. They should be provided by highly qualified personnel who really interested in youth football development.

The football schools should be built on sequential studying of local, regional models of clubs, to make them connected to each other by friendship cooperation. It can become a new method in the detection of youth talents and open big potential for youth football.

At the same time, such a professional approach can give an opportunity to willing, hardworking, efficient and productive football man to provide himself with a decent salary and don’t afraid about the career. Today’s condition of football schools is far to be called pedagogic, they see children only as like the customers. And it’s clear this method of teaching and working is not able to bring new sources to our country football.

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The point is to build a system which can connect every child to sports activities. The priority of the model is to create a practice of understanding the participation of each child in games and sports for entertainment. It’s not important how far we left from the next stage, if we want to be competitive and take our own part in international sport/football future, we should bring new projects to raise a new generation of sportsmen.

But it can be made not by creating the privilege only for one group, but by providing every child by opportunity of going for sports and continuing natural selection for those who wish and are able to.

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