At risk St James boys to benefit from NIA/Our Kids Academy Initiative


At risk St James boys to benefit from NIA/Our Kids Academy Initiative

By Dwayne Richards
Observer writer

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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Three-year-old organisation, Our Kids Academy, has partnered with the National Integrity Action (NIA) to give 24 boys from some of St James's most challenged communities, opportunities at football development and behaviour modification. The programme is set to run for the next six months, at the end of which the boys will be assessed and placed accordingly.

The initiative called the 'Get Up Sports Programme' was launched at the Vistaprint Complex recently where the 24 selected boys were outfitted with gear and equipment provided by Our Kids Academy and sponsors of the programme which include NIA, Western Sports, Island Routes, Itelbpo, Deja All-Inclusive Resort, Jamaica Tours Limited, and Team Storm Fitness.

The boys, who range from ages 8-12 years old, hail from Canterbury, Flanker, Salem, Tower Hill, Myall, Catherine Hall, Rose Heights, and Glendevon. NIA Community Outreach Officer Gavin Myers explained why his organisation became involved with the project.

“The project is a clear example of crime prevention and integrity-building in action. NIA recognised that change is not instant nor by chance, but through diligent work. This project has all the hallmarks,” Myers suggested.

After watching the boys from the Get Up programme play against boys from Our Kids Academy, Myers was even more convinced that his organisation had made the correct decision in supporting the initiative.

“Today we saw the vision of working with youth to build their capacity in action. This programme is designed to not only have the children but their parents involved, and parental involvement is a key success factor,” he reasoned.

Head of the Our Kids Academy Hanif Comrie outlined that they have developed a behaviour analysis programme centred around three key areas: home, school and Our Kids Academy.

This will be used to determine the changes in the attitude of the participants and help to drive improved behaviour in the boys, not just on the field but in all areas of their lives.

“Data will be collected from three focus areas, home, school and Our Kids Academy. The ratings system will be a continuous ticker system displayed on our website…related to each child in the group,” Comrie revealed.

The boys will also have the advantage of being coached by international practitioners over the six months. “Over the six months period they will be coached by four guest coaches,” Comrie disclosed.

“Coach Helena Moulton, from Croatia, did the community session to decide on the participants, Coach Omar from Holland will be here next month, Coach Ivan Tordorvic, a Serbian from Slammers FC in California comes in December, and Coach Didier Orellana from New Jersey, in January,” Comrie disclosed.

At the end of the six months period the NIA will be presented with the final, comprehensive report and recommendations for the transition of the players into selected systems locally and internationally for those who have maximised. Those who don't will be recommended for phase two of the programme.

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