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Jul 10, 2014

Smart Football Summer Camp Concludes At ITVET

Fans of the beautiful game will be passionately rallying behind their favorite national teams in the upcoming World Cup Finals on Sunday.  In Belize, a team of young athletes are completing an annual football training camp which has seen them learning the fundamentals of the sport over the past two weeks.  The program, sponsored by Smart, is in its ninth year and has afforded children and youths across Belize City the opportunity to participate in recreational activities during the dog days of summer.  This morning, we visited the young players at the ITVET Field where they were all busy running through daily drills. 

 

Jovaunn Ramos, Summer Camp Participant

Jovaunn Ramos

“My godfather just told me to come out and play the football.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Is football a sport that you’re very much into, as much as let’s say basketball or another form recreation.”

 

Jovaunn Ramos

“Yes sir, football is my favorite sport.”

 

Isani Cayetano

And what have you learned being a part of this summer program, in terms of either passing the ball or receiving, that sort of stuff?

 

Jovaunn Ramos

“Learn to control the ball.  Well my coach Shanelle Gentle she just told me to like juggle the ball five times and it was kind of hard before but now I’ve learned it and I’m excellent now, very excellent at it.”

 

Stanley Reneau

Stanley Reneau, Camp Coordinator

“This year we have between seventy and ninety kids everyday.”

 

Isani Cayetano:

“What are some of the basic skills and what is the overall purpose in terms of engaging these youths or these kids in something productive?”

 

Stanley Reneau

“Well the camp is basically [where] we teach them the fundamentals of the game, basically passing and receiving.  The number two priority is passing and receiving.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“And in terms of getting them to do something during the summer that keeps them away from either getting into mischief or that sort of stuff.  How does the camp integrate all of that?”

 

Stanley Reneau

“Well basically myself, I work with all of the, I’m the head coordinator of all of the Smart Under Thirteen Mundialito Football Tournament that is currently on.  We are in our tenth week.  This week will be our tenth week, so most of the kids, we have a hundred and ten kids at Yabra every Saturday so most of the kids are right here at the summer camp.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Talk to me a bit about the experience you’ve had so far in this summer program.”

 

Jared Mena, Summer Camp Participant

Jared Mena

“My experience was learning ball control, how to control the ball and how to move it with your feet.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“And what have you learned in terms of making friends with other people who are part of this camp?”

 

Jared Mena

“It was a nice experience to meet new friends.”

 

Lynette Canto

Lynette Canto, Public Relations Officer, Smart

“Smart has been involved in this summer camp, football summer camp for three years now.  The camp has actually been in existence for nine years but for the past three years we’ve been a full sponsor.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of seeing the development of these young men, what would you say would be the best feature coming out of such a program?”

 

Lynette Canto

“Well the age range for the participants is four to fourteen years and we believe that it’s a really good initiative because starting from a young age you are able to determine who are the diamonds in the rough and you are able to start working with them and start taking them to another level.  So that’s one of the main things, to develop football in Belize.  But apart from that it’s a way of getting them off the streets, it’s the summer and they are looking for something positive to do and this camp teaches them discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship.”

 

 

Three young athletes have been selected from the summer program to represent Belize in another football training camp in Miami in the coming weeks.

 

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