Local official foresees benefits from Sandals/Real Madrid football clinics

Local official foresees benefits from Sandals/Real Madrid football clinics

Observer writer

Thursday, January 16, 2020

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland — Jamaica's football could reap tremendous benefits from last week's staging of the week long football clinic held in Negril for local coaches and children between the ages of nine and 14 years old, says president of the Westmoreland Football Association Everton Tomlinson.

The clinic was staged jointly by Sandals Foundation and Real Madrid Foundation.

Tomlinson, who also serves as chairman of the Jamaica Football Federation Technical Committee and who was one of more than two dozen local coaches who took part in a one-day clinic that was held last Monday, said it was vital that the youngsters were taught the basics of the game at this age group.

It was the second year that the clinics were being held and Liz Kaiser, director of partnership marketing for Sandals and Beaches Resorts and the Sandals Foundation, said: “This partnership was two years in the making; last year we had the opportunity to train 50 local kids from the communities and this time we were able to pass the knowledge on to local coaches, so we had a one-day clinic on Monday where we saw close to 25 coaches learn theoretical and practical skills from the Real Madrid Foundation, the best football club in the world.”

The local children were chosen mainly from Broughton and Mt Airey Primary Schools with a few who were guests at Beaches Negril and spent five days learning basic football skills taught by the Real Madrid Foundation coach Carlos Blazquez.

“I think it's a very good partnership and to have this age group learning the basic fundamentals of football augurs well for the future and the impact it will have is that the kids who have been exposed to international coaching will be tremendous,” Tomlinson said.

The clinics emphasised attacking techniques more than defence and Tomlinson said “they will learn the process of making the progress from passing and controlling into attack”.

“Every session ended with finishing drills, which is a very good thing and a good ingredient and part of the football which is really lacking here in Jamaica's football,” the football official went on.

Both Tomlinson and Kaiser agreed that the interaction between the local children and those who were visiting was very good and will be beneficial to all parties going forward.

“The partnership between the Sandals Foundation and Real Madrid Foundation is a really good initiative, but also the exposure between the children of different backgrounds and even language barrier was interesting to see,” Tomlinson said.

Kaiser added: “It was equally important we had the local kids interacting with international guests staying at Beaches Negril and it was fantastic to see the camaraderie and passing on of information from one island to the others, so for them to come together in this beautiful environment was fantastic.”

There were a number of girls who were part of the camp, and according to Kaiser, this was important.

“In this 'me too' movement now it is important that we recognise the talent of women and we saw that over this week and the fact that we have five girls alongside the boys, they are tough and wanted to learn and hungry for information and they should be given the same opportunity and I was very excited that we were able to do that and to include them in this five-day camp,” she said.

The clinics moved on to the Turks and Caicos Islands this week, but kaiser said they hoped the positive effects would continue to be felt in Jamaica long afterwards.

“We are hopeful that after the clinic with the local coaches they will be able to pass on the knowledge and skills to other coaches here, so we can continue the teaching of the skills,” Kaiser ended.

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