Sandals, Real Madrid foundations host

Observer West writer

Thursday, May 09, 2019

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NEGRIL, Hanover — Sandals Foundation in collaboration with Beaches Negril and Real Madrid Foundation recently staged a two-day football clinic for primary and high school students between the ages of nine and 14 from western Jamaica.

The youngsters have not only lauded the organisers of the event, but are looking forward for another staging.

For D'marco Reid, a 13-year-old student of Belmont Academy in Westmoreland, who says he is working towards becoming “a great footballer”, the clinic was a step in right direction.

“It was good because I learned a lot of things, [such as], how to control the ball, play the ball on the wing, how to defend, how to attack, how to make counterattack and stuff,” Reid told the Jamaica Observer West.

He says he is looking forward to another staging and is encouraging other students to attend the clinic.

Nine-year-old Broughton Primary School student, Joanna Wright, who was one of two females in attendance, said the clinic was wonderful.

“It was wonderful. I had a good time. I learned how to cooperate…,” said Wright, who is also the only female on her school's football team.

She said she wants to become a paediatrician in the future, but is also desirous of representing Jamaica in football.

Her mother, Doreen Smith Wright, was all too elated with the career path of her daughter.

“She wants to be a paediatrician, but at the same time, you can always rely on a second skill. So, playing football for Jamaica is a great opportunity for her in the future and this [clinic] is the foundation, because children are young and if we start them from a tender age, they are like sponge, so they absorb a lot of stuff, so they can do well in the future,” the mother argued.

Smith Wight said her daughter is being motivated by the achievements of the Reggae Girlz and as such, she is hoping her daughter will continue to play the sport at the secondary and tertiary levels.

Real Madrid coach from Spain, Carlos Albert, told the Observer West that “while things are not perfect,” Jamaica is blessed overall in the area of sports.

“You have great players here in Jamaica, you can tell when you see them running, you can tell when you see how competitive they are, it is beautiful. You are lucky for the little country you are, how good attitude you have for competitive sports. Genetically, you are well-prepared, but nothing is perfect, you need to work on different stuff,” he argued.

He pointed out, however, that selfish playing, in comparison to playing as a team, was one of the things he observed during the two-day clinic.

Albert says he is looking forward to returning to the island for another clinic.

Beaches Negril hotel manager Noel Isaacs, in his remarks at the closing session, thanked local coaches Keble Patrick of Petersfield High School in Westmoreland, and Demar McKenzie of Cove Primary School in Hanover for assisting with the clinic.

He argued that the skills and mentorship provided over the two-day clinic is “something the children will take with them, as they move on in life”.

Director Partnership Marketing for Sandals, Beaches and Sandals Foundation, Liz Kaiser, said the partnership has been two years in the making.

She noted that Real Madrid does similar clinics across the world, and “Sandals is delighted to have brought the team here in Jamaica to teach and develop the children”.

“It is really not only teaching them physical abilities, but also mental abilities, confidence, team building, mentorship, perseverance which are all important life skills,” Kaiser argued.

Some 50 students attended the football clinic, and Kaiser said the aim is to take the clinic to other parts of Jamaica.

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