SOMALIA: Successful end to professional sports medicine training in Somalia

There has been a colourful conclusion ceremony to the high level professional sports medicine workshop which has been under way at the Sahafi International Hotel in Mogadishu between 8-9 May 2013 with at least 45 medical volunteers including six women benefitting from the Somali Football Federation organized professional sports medicine workshop.

The volunteers include new medical university graduates, nurses form the country’s biggest hospitals and volunteers from Somali Red Crescent society.

The workshop was the last of several trainings as part of the preparations for a FIFA level medical course due in the country before the end of the year, according to Somali Football Federation Secretary General Mr. Abdi Qani Said Arab who addressed at the conclusion ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Arab indicated that football is beautiful and public game which encourages health and physical fitness and for that reason the Somali Football Federation was committed to strengthening the medical involvement in football anywhere in the war-torn country.

“Rather than practicing sports medicine at our competitions or trainings, we want  to be engaged in medical awareness moves against malaria and other killer diseases through football medical campaign and you are the ones whom we expect to carry such strong healthy messages” Secretary General Abdi Qanbi Said Arab told the trainees during his conclusion speech Thursday.

“As you know in my opening remarks I promised that we are going to establish our own ambulance services and provide you with full medical equipment—I am once again repeating that SFF is committed to implementing such sector” Mr. Arab noted adding that Somali Football Federation was fully happy with the offer from dozens of participants who pledged to voluntarily work at local football events across the country.

He said that for the past two decades Somali Football Federation had a key role in reconciliation and peace building through football for peace tournaments across the country and after learning from the successful past history, now the SFF was going to play such big role in maintaining good health among people adding that the protection of environment through football environmental care awareness games was also another important role for the SFF to play.

The trainees themselves have fully lauded for the secretary General’s speech which they said was encouraging them to increase their involvement in football which is the most populous sport in Somalia where an estimation of 95% of the people including olds and young are football addicts.

“On behalf of the trainees I want to thank Somali Football Federation for giving us such great opportunity, we graduated from medical universities in the country, but I confirm that we have learned what we didn’t know before and that is because the sports medicine was something new to us” Muniro Ali Hassan told the closing ceremony Thursday.

She was one of 28 volunteers who pledged they will voluntarily work with Somali Football federation during the closing ceremony Thursday.

“As my sister told here before me, I am confirming that we are committed to doing such volunteer work, because we have felt the sweetness of football which I can describe as the people’s game” added Ismahan Mohamed Ahmed one of the female trainees who offered to voluntarily work with SFF.

“We are asking Somali Football Federation to suddenly create connections between us and the clubs here in the country, because we want to help them and practice what we have learned from here” another trainee Bashir Hassan Farah adding that they also want to help referees and national team members during training sessions.

Course director Dr. Abdullahi Hussein a high profile sports medicine expert praised his students’ commitment to the training, time keeping and top discipline during training adding that the participation was also full than expected and over time hours of learning were taken.

“The trainees asked me for additional courses and I promised them other courses on the behalf of Somali Football federation, the lessons we have given them include FIFA +11, F-Marc programs, anti doping control and other important lessons—rather than the general medicine we have really implemented here the messages we had taken from FIFA and CAF medical courses and meetings” course director Dr. Abdullahi Hussein told the closing ceremony.

Before announcing the closure of the training Somali Football Federation President Ali Said Guled Roble said he was very jubilant at the top participation of the course and the commitment of the trainees who were asking their instructors frequent questions during the two day-long workshop.

The president accentuated that his federation was taking seriously the demands from the trainees toward the holding of additional courses and he emphasised Dr. Hussein’s pledges to do more sports medicine courses in the near future.

“Once again I send my particular thanks and gratefulness to our medical experts, the course director Surgeon doctor Abdullahi Hussein and his assistant Dr Khalif Yusuf Sabriye, a specialist in orthopaedics—I can really describe them as ‘heroes’ who devoted their time and energy to the promotion of a professional sports medicine through football” the president noted before announcing the closure of the training workshop.

Xafiiska Wararka Midnimo,


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