THE Saint Lucia Football Association staged what many have considered a very successful Beach Soccer Coaching Course from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th October 2019 at its Headquarters in La Clery.
This course was facilitated by FIFA Instructor and legendary Beach Soccer Player and Coach, Madjer Saraiva.
The FIFA Instructor challenged the coaches to use the information received in an effort to propel beach soccer on the island, while at the same time encouraging the SLFA to give the support in ensuring that Saint Lucia could once again be represented on the regional and international scene in beach soccer.
“It is important for the coaches when they come here,” said Madjer Saraiva following the closing ceremony. “They want to learn and they want to improve. Over the five days it was incredible the way that they learn, the way they put the ideas on the field, the way they want to get to the players; it was one of the best courses I have done.”
In terms of participation in the practical sessions Saraiva expressed, “They got the beach soccer idea; they have the rules, and the formation of play. They know how to teach the skills to the players (Under 15s). The certified individuals are now prepared to teach other coaches and other individuals who want to join beach soccer.”
On behalf of the SLFA President Lyndon Cooper commented: “For the SLFA we have now placed beach soccer on the burner, it has never been on the burner and it’s left to us now from a policy standpoint to ensure that we could push it as part of the mainstream area of football on the island.”
He continued, “It is now the responsibility of the coaches to be creative and to assist Saint Lucia and the SLFA when it comes to beach soccer. Beach soccer is a simple sport for us because everyone would have known in the last two years Saint Lucia won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas and in the next four years the SLFA will be looking to win at least a bronze medal in a FIFA World Cup.”
The VOICE also spoke to SLFA Technical Director, Cess Podd: “The Beach Soccer Course is exactly what we needed at this time; in 2017 Saint Lucia won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas. We really haven’t develop the sport in the way we wanted to so we decided to get one of the best in the world, FIFA Instructor, Madjer Saraiva; he is probably the most well-known beach soccer player in the world and now a coach as well, so we feel we are learning from the best.”
He continued, “The turnout was good and what we want to do from here is to make sure that the participants will go to their various districts and teams, share what they learned and in the years to come we will have a beach soccer programme going that’s going to take us to a FIFA World Cup, or even help us win another gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.”
The presentations were well received by the participants, which included three members from the Roseau Valley Football League, Bobby Hippolyte, Marcus Harrow and Ruben Sandiford.
While beach soccer is not very popular in the community of Roseau, it is their intention to make the Roseau Valley Football League (RVFL) the hub for beach soccer on the island. To this end, consideration is being given to utilizing the Roseau beachfront as a possible location for potential beach soccer activities.
To this end the RVFL will ensure that those coaches who were unable to attend the Course will be equipped with the relevant information with the aim of making beach soccer a reality in the community.