TFC Hosts Exciting Youth Summer Camp

By Reginald Andrew

AMIDST the Covid-19 blues that has hampered the progress of several events on island, an enthusiastic bunch of youngsters from the southern community got the opportunity to participate in an exciting summer camp programme.

A total of more than 80 youngsters from the Ti Rocher, Micoud community successfully completed a two-week ‘Summer Camp’ where they gained knowledge on football skills and other aspects of their personal development.

For the past five years, the Ti Rocher Football Club (TFC) has been pushing this initiative, with support from the Desruisseaux Football League; and added input from the St Lucia Football Association [SLFA].

In attendance at Sunday’s closing ceremony, held at the Utopia Gardens, in Beauchamps, was a majority of the young and enthused participants, as well as organisers and facilitators of the camp.

While stating that the organization remains committed ‘to redevelop and reposition football’ on the island, SLFA President Lyndon Cooper said he was pleased with the outcome of the camp.

“For us, our position is to redevelop, reposition football …and we refer to both boys and girls,” declared Cooper.

He added that the SLFA was “extremely grateful …to see the completion of this summer program.”

Urging the youthto take on a broader view of the game, through their participation, he said: “What it does for us as an organization is that it creates a platform where you could be part and parcel of a short and long term plan and move into the national set up.”

Cooper told the youngsters, opportunities abound for everyone below 20 years to be fully involved in the organization of football. “You can now be a member of the national team from as early as 10 to 11 years …you just need to focus, obey the coaches and participate in the program,” he said.

The SLFA president said the unit is cognizant of the covid-19 protocols and adherence to the health regulations that has limited public participation in the sport. However, he explained, the FA plans to launch a ‘Pro Vaccination’ campaign within the next two (2) weeks in an effort to get spectators back into the stands.

“Our message is a simple one …for us, as a country, as an organization, to return the normality in football we must as an institution support a Pro-Vaccination drive,” asserted Cooper

He added: “We are not going to see the return of football with crowds for 20 or 50 persons if we are not part of a national effort in the vaccination drive.”

President of the Desruisseaux Football League, Innocent St Ange acknowledged the involvement of the TFC into the fulfillment of the summer camp and pledged continued support for the program.

“I would like to congratulate TFC on a job well done …and of course, the participants because you are an integral part of this youth soccer camp,” he noted.

He said with the funds provided by the SLFA, the DFL will continue “to assist with these kinds of programs that help with the development of the game. We want to ensure you that we will put together competitions for persons of your age so that you can participate and play some competitive football with the other clubs.”

TFC President, Lee Willie, informed the exuberant participants that the TFC looks forward to continue promoting the ‘summer camp’ program and moving forward, the likelihood of also hosting weekly sessions.

Willie acknowledged the support of the parents that have been there “year after year” to support the program.

He added: “Moving forward, TFC will not only commit to hosting the summer camp program, but we will be having a weekly program, where, similar to what happens every summer , you all will get an opportunity to have this program every Saturday

Willie disclosed that the Ti Rocher Combined School has endorsed the program and the principal is committed “to allow the kids to take part in it.”

Individual prizes were presented to players who had performed exceptionally well in various skills sets and deportment; but in all it was a truly exciting and enthralling moment for the youngsters as they mingled freely and chattily enjoying the rewards of their two-week sojourn.

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