Successful football clinic for vulnerable communities staged in St JamesThursday, August 05, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
TUCKER, St James — The recent two-day football coaches' clinic, organised by the Ministry of National Security for residents of vulnerable communities and staged at Wespow Park in Tucker, has been described as “excellent and a tremendous success” by well-known Coach Bradley Stewart, one of the coaches who conducted the courses.
Stewart, who coached for years at the Premier League and Major League levels and was part of Theodore Whitmore's coaching staff at one time, and Christopher Stewart held a series of seminars last week Wednesday and Thursday aimed at equipping former players with the skills to teach the game at the developmental level.
There was another aspect, Stewart told the Jamaica Observer West on last Thursday's final day that the coaches would become “vehicles of modification changes when they go back to their respective communities”.
Senator Charles Sinclair, the councillor for the Montego Bay North East Division in St James, represented National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang at the presentation ceremony, where a number of certificates were handed out.
Chang is also the Member of Parliament for St James North Western, where several vulnerable communities in the parish are located.
The islandwide programme has been ongoing for at least four years, Stewart told the Observer West.
He noted that the clinics are usually well-attended but pointed out that “this one is less attended as this is for coaches”.
“What we have been doing is coming here for an extended period for three years or more to have a behaviour modification programme among challenged communities trying to get the young people away from getting involved in anti-social behaviour and we use sports as the vehicle for that,” he explained.
The response, he stressed, has been “excellent as we have a lot of people who have been involved in the programme over a long time... and I think it has been successful”.
The coaches, who had a number of youngsters from primary schools around Montego Bay to work with, said the participants “have been responding very well.
It has been two days, but two hectic days. We have to give credit to those who have left their jobs to come and the hope is that the players and coaches will go back into the communities and become the changers of modification of behaviour patterns”.
The training programme was designed by the Coerver system, which Stewart described as one of the best youth development programmes in the world.
“It starts from the foundation, teaching people moves, adding speed to everything we do, combination, and group play. The focus is on repetition and is aimed at players from age six to mid-teens,” said Stewart.