A solid foundation
More than 120 children and 42 local coaches have already began to reap the benefits of The Brewster Trust’s Inaugural Football Holiday Camp which is taking place daily at the UWI artificial turf football field at Paradise Park, The Lazaretto.
The first week of the programme was dedicated to the football coaches. Specific emphasis was on kick-up skills, turns, passing, games like “football cricket”, as well as safety and organisation. Elements of team building and social life off the pitch were also included.
Twenty of the coaches have been invited to take part in the camp to show what they have learnt and the most outstanding coach will be awarded participation at the next Arsenal Gap Year programme in London for one month, including accommodation and travel costs.
The camp, which caters to boys, girls and children with disabilities, is an initiative of The Brewster Trust, a partner of English Premier League club Arsenal and the Gap Year Programmes 2010 to 2013.
“The development of sports-based social inclusion initiatives has been last, but not least, the driver to step in and support the [Gap Year] programme,” said Nathaniel P. Brewster, vice-president and co-founder of the trust.
“One approach of our charity is to have qualified and experienced people who are dedicated to football and are willing to share their know-how.”
Several Arsenal coaches are in Barbados: John Olaleye, Arsenal’s Gap Year coordinator; Steve Eadon; Adam Tarrant and Ognjen Soskic.
The camp caters to three age groups: 7 to 10; 11 to 14 (now in progress), and 15 to 18 (from July 25 to 29). The training sessions are age-group and performance-related, providing access to the sport from the beginner level.
Coaching elements include basic passing techniques, dribbling and turning at speed, slalom, turns, control and heading sessions including aerial control, with a daily competition based on the session.
In addition, focus will also be on using various parts of the body like feet, knees or chest, basic techniques of shooting with emphasis on shooting with the strong and the weak feet, and mini matches at the end of the week. This will be followed by presentations to all players as well as Player Of The Week and Fair Play awards.
The Brewster Trust’s camp partners are Arsenal FC, the University of the West Indies, the Barbados Football Association and Barbados Bottling Company. (PR/SAT)