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2nd Digicel Chelsea Kick Start football launched

2nd Digicel Chelsea Kick Start football launched

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This week, Digicel demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the development of grassroots football with the launch of the second annual Digicel Chelsea Kick Start football clinic.{{more}}

The launch of the initiative was held at Digicel’s corporate offices, located in the Lewis Building on James Street, Kingstown.

The launch sees local young footballers gearing up for the clinic, which will again this year give 30 local young footballers, between the ages of 14 to 16, the opportunity to train with coaches from top English Premier League club Chelsea FC.

Of the 30 youngsters that will train with the Chelsea coaches, three will be chosen to journey to the Chelsea Academy in Barbados later this year (all expenses paid), where they will undergo an intense eight-day coaching clinic.

Speaking at the launch, products manager at Digicel Justin John said that once again Digicel has partnered with the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation to run local pre-clinics from which the 30 players that will train with the Chelsea coaches will be chosen.

The pre-clinics to select the 30 most talented youngsters will take place on Saturday April 26th at Campden Park, Saturday, May 3rd at Calliaqua and Friday, May 9th at the Grammar School Playing Field. The selection committee comprises coaches that handle youth soccer in the country.

Footballers who are in the age group 14 to 16 and will not be 17 before October 2014 are asked to come out to the clinics nearest them to try for a chance to receive top coaching at the main clinic, which will run from Monday, June 2nd to Thursday, June 5th, 2014.

John said that this year the clinic has two added aspects, as a school visit will be done by the Chelsea coaches, while an under 16 female clinic will also be held.

Last year, local coaches got the opportunity to train with the Chelsea coaches and that will be done again this year.

“As part of Digicel’s overall football strategy, we believe that grassroots football is essential to the undergoing development of the sport and its young participants,” said John who encouraged the nation’s players to come out and try their best.

Meanwhile, president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Venold Coombs said that the SVGFF is extremely thankful to Digicel and Chelsea for their commitment to local football.

“Digicel is doing a lot in ensuring that sports and in particular football reaches the highest level. Since Digicel came on board we have complimented their venture by having programs in regards to youth development,” said Coombs.

He said that Digicel has inspired the SVGFF to put even more focus on youth development and as a result this has seen the implementation of a national Under-13 tournament ongoing at the Grammar School Playing Field and numerous other youth development programs.

“Digicel is giving us the confidence to move forward. Digicel is playing an important role. Digicel is deepening relationships and we are confident and happy and we would do what is expected,” said Coombs who added, “having Chelsea come here is a wonderful experience and Digicel should be congratulated.”

Executive assistant of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Devon Poyer said that just like last year, the SVGFF is very excited about the kick start clinic.

He added, however, that the SVGFF realizes that education is part of football, so this year, apart from the physical aspect of the clinic, the SVGFF is also focusing on making sure that the youngsters have academic support.

“We are going to make it fun and competitive and we are going to push for education, as this is a key component of making it in football. We are pushing for academics along with football,” said Poyer, who added that the SVGFF has seen youths with skill and potential, but who are hindered by academics.

“We will go above and beyond to ensure that this clinic is successful and we recognize that a number of youngsters who are skilled, but from an education standpoint are weak, so we are striking a balance,” said Poyer. He added that coaches like Wade Jackson usually work with the youngsters from an academic standpoint.

Poyer promised “if you are not selected but skilled, we are going to help you with a tutor to guide and nurture you, a mentor to help you excel and represent us fully.”

Last year, Deno John, Jowan Sawyers and Kyle Edwards earned themselves the week’s placing at the Digicel Chelsea Academy in Barbados.

John who was voted Most Improved Player at the week training session in November last year has since been recognized by the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and once he maintains himself academically and keeps up his game, he will be given a scholarship to attend UWI.

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