OFA and Safety First join
February 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Muscat: In a major and unique development with positive implications on the linkage between youth development, social cause campaigning and sports, Oman's leading, not-for-profit, road safety campaigning organisation – Safety First (SF) and the Oman Football Association (OFA) have signed up in order to improve road safety behaviour in country.

According to a press release issued by the OFA on Saturday, the OFA board approved and sanctioned the partnership with Safety First in order to bring in road safety awareness and attitude change among the youth as it prepares to unveil new initiatives related to grassroots development of football in Oman.

Commenting on this development, OFA General Secretary Sheikh Hazza Al Saadi stated: "As we continue to invest in the community, and in the development of footballers, it is our duty to also pass on positive messages to the people of our country.  Oman is a country that is passionate about football, and if we can turn that passion towards educating on road safety or any other important message, then we are keen to do so.

"Safety First are a great organization and we will work hard to deliver their important messages."

Jim Selby, the OFA Technical Director, added: "Our plans include significant support of the clubs and community. We announced last week our plans for the OFA Club Skills Development Academy programme and the messages we can pass on with regard to road safety at these academies will impact on thousands of young children and their families."

Khaula Al Harthy, Safety First board member, said, "On behalf of Safety First and the entire team, I thank the Oman Football Association for partnering with us. We are certain that this partnership will lead and encourage the youth of Oman into progressive and positive behavioural display both on field and on the roads.

"Safety First has always had sporting ethics of respect, equality, teamwork and integrity at its core ever since it was established by Ali Al Habsi and Hamed Al Wahaibi. Through this partnership, we are keen to reach out to the youth and their families in a unique manner and unite everyone in the pursuit of changing our behaviour on the roads of Oman."

Also commenting on this development, Ali Al Habsi said: "I am grateful to the OFA board for partnering with Safety First. It is our honour. Football is already the most popular sport in our nation.

Now, we need to make road safety an equally popular habit in our nation. With this tie-up, Hamed and I as well as the Board keenly anticipate, reaching the very important message of road safety to every corner of Oman".

Hamed Al Wahaibi said: "The Safety First has been diligently working on strategies and projects which should be announced in the public domain soon. As has been the precedent, the uniqueness of its projects and methods will continue to inspire societal change."

Football linked campaigns with the OFA as well as a modified version of the Oman Youth Rally Cup are on the agenda for this year.

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