12 February 2024

Established in Timika since 2022, the Papua Football Academy (PFA) has become an oasis in the world of Papuan and Indonesian football with the hope of producing promising young talents. The presence of PFA in Papua not only provides benefits for selected students, but also has a significant positive impact on the community and development of football in Papua.

Headquartered at the Mimika Sport Complex, Timika, PFA strives to improve the skills of Papuan boys who have potential in the field of football, expanding career opportunities at both national and international levels. As well as, community empowerment and promotion of Papua's potential to an even larger area.

The new PFA has two cohorts of students with the age groups U-14 (first cohort) and U-13 (second cohort) receiving academic and non-academic school support to support formal and character education. Apart from that, improving nutrition and nutritional standards in daily food is also a main priority for PFA students in order to produce international standard athletes.

For academic education, PFA students are required to study at formal schools from Monday to Friday based on home schooling with a total of 20 hours of study a week with the implementation of the Merdeka Belajar curriculum in collaboration with the Mimika District Education Office.

In accordance with the vision and mission of PFA's main supporter, PT Freeport Indonesia, as stated by Claus Wamafma as Director of PT Freeport Indonesia that PFA is not just a football academy, but a new icon for Papua.

PFA was inagurated by Joko Widodo, Indonesia President
PFA focus on developing skills and techniques in playing football and character building
PFA focus on developing skills and techniques in playing football and character building

“There is one part that has actually been forgotten in the last three decades in Papua, which is the mental and cultural development. One way is through sport. "The PFA is here to carry out this task," said Claus.

"We (PT Freeport Indonesia) will continue to support the presence of PFA with all facilities referring to the standards required in all fields. "With the hope that one day the PFA students trained here can return to society with improved positive character qualities," said Claus enthusiastically.

Inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, as reported by Kompas.com, the PFA has become a hot topic of conversation among high-ranking state officials such as the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, Sri Mulyani, and the Chair of the DPR RI, Puan Maharani.

"At the meeting with Mrs. Sri Mulyani, the question was not about anything else but about PFA. "Speaking with Mrs. Puan also about the fundamental development of Papua's young generation through sports," explained Claus.

One of Papua's football icons, Ortizan Solossa, sees the PFA as a new hope for the young generation of Papua. "The presence of the Papua Football Academy will help save the future generation of Papua, especially in the sport of football," said the figure who once played for Persipura Jayapura and PSM Makassar.

“There is no doubt about the names of the coaches at the PFA. "From Wolfgang Pikal, who once managed the national team, then there is Ardiles, a local young man, and Rully Nere, who has a big name as an Indonesian footballer from Papua," he added.

Not only does it focus on developing skills and techniques in playing football, the character education that coaches provide to students is also felt by parents. Many new habits that start in the dormitory are implemented well at home.

"Being trained hard at PFA and being taught discipline on and off the field is an extraordinary provision for the development of our children. We as parents can only pray and support our children for success," said Yance Susim, a parent of Samuel Cundrad Susim, first generation PFA student.

"Since joining PFA, the changes were very drastic and of course in a positive direction, Perez is now very independent. I'm very happy," said Betty, a parent of Perez Rumaseb who is also an early generation PFA student.

As a social investment from PT Freeport Indonesia, children who are selected to become students at the Papua Football Academy will not only benefit individually, but will also be prepared to be useful and have a positive impact on the development of Papuan football and the surrounding environment as a whole.

By continuing to provide support and attention, it is hoped that the PFA has the potential to become an even greater center for developing football talent in the future.

From Ppua for Indonesia

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