VALLEY Soccer Academy (VSA), in collaboration with the Saint Luci a Youth Ambassadors and the Department of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment and Human Services, launched its “More Than A Game” training programme last Saturday in the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School auditorium.
The event, which runs from March to July, will cater for twenty of VSA’s Under-15 and Under-16 members.
The fortnightly programme includes practical and theoretical approaches for the holistic, professional and full psycho-social development of VSA student athlete ambassadors.
Activities are intended to heighten their focus in academic pursuits, provide a safe space for professional exploration and to leave them better placed to profit from the numerous academic and professional sporting opportunities available.
Valley Soccer President, Francis Daniel, said, “We start from age four but what we recognized at Valley Soccer is that when the children get to 14 and over, their behaviour takes a 180-degree turn. Our programme doesn’t change. At the younger age, there is always a parental involvement and as the children get older, some of the parents’ involvement dwindles. When they leave secondary school and attend Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, they adopt a whole new set of behaviours and which is reflected in their ability in how they relate to each other.”
Daniel said the programme was intended to not only reverse that trend but also make an appeal to both the membership and their guardians that other than football, there are other skill sets and values they needed to nurture.
CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Alisha Ally, outlined the six-week programme to the youth, saying it involved anger management, grooming and etiquette, and conflict resolution that can help not only in sports, but in everyday life — at school, at home, in the community.
Some of the highly-skilled and specialized personnel/organizations on board include Charde and Lavorne Desir, Kirby Sydney, Amari Arthur, Kurt Hosam, Anna Cadasse, Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), the media, educators from National Skill Development Centre (NSDC), and Beckwith International Leadership Development (BILD).