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Jul 11, 2018

A Volleyball Camp at Gateway Youth Center

Summer camps are getting in full swing all over the city. At the Gateway Youth Center today, at least twenty youths converged to participate in a sport which they hope to master. The volleyball camp is expected to run for two weeks and the young athletes, both male and female, have their eyes on big things. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Gateway Youth Center provides a space for Belize City youths, primarily those from the south side, with programmes that would see them reintegrated into the mainstream education system. Since its inception back in November of 2014, the facility has worked with hundreds of at-risk youths and collaborated with many other agencies in providing life skill training as well as remedial studies to the youth.


Abdul Nunez

Abdul Nunez, Youth Officer, Gateway Youth Center

“We have our regular students who come and get their remedial studies and their entrepreneurship training during the day; this is from eight to about two. Then we have our after school students who come from three o’clock to five o’clock, from varying schools throughout the city. They access our computer services, our photocopying services and they get help with S.B.A.s and these other things that they have to do. Then we have our work from cadets from coastguard; we have about sixty cadets that come work with us here at the center. And then we have the ‘grapplers’ who work with Sensei Rennick James and Mister Barrett; they come and do martial arts in the evening.”


That constant activity continued into the summer camp programmes of the youth center. Today, a group of about twenty young people participated in an ongoing sports camp being done in partnership with BK Foundation, a group of volleyball athletes, who intend to teach the participants the discipline and technical skills of playing volleyball. Among the trainers are Bryton Codd and Karym Coleman who were recently scouted by a Canadian coach and awarded full athletics scholarships to Briercrest in Saskatchewan, Canada.


Karym Coleman

Karym Coleman, BK Foundation

“We are trying to bring sports into the areas where it is not normally reached; the undiscovered areas, so to speak. So this has been the first stop on that journey and we plan to go around the country to try to extend our reach to other areas. We are trying to teach them the basics of volleyball which starts with the passing, the setting and the attacking. But right now we are having them do some drills that work on speed and focus so it is mostly reaction at this point since they are kids, and the court is kinda wet, so we have to change it up a little bit.”


The camp caters to boys and girls. Jaleel and Necia want to be professional volleyball athletes when they grow up.


Jaleel Casimiro

Jaleel Casimiro, 8-year-old Participant

“I like sports and volleyball too.”


Duane Moody

“What you di learn from this camp?”


Jaleel Casimiro

“About bumping and learn how to run.”


Duane Moody

“You want to be a volleyball star when you get earlier?”


Jaleel Casimiro

“Yes sir.”


Necia Casimiro

Necia Casimiro, 11-Year-Old Participant

“I love sports and from small I used to play volleyball with my cousin them.”


Duane Moody

“For you personally what are you learning?”


Necia Casimiro

“How to play volleyball and if you want to go in the tournament, you can ask and find yourself in.”


Duane Moody

“So this is preparing you for that?”


Necia Casimiro

“Yes sir.”


While the camp is in its second week, Sports Coordinator Cleon McKoy says that there are a series of activities throughout the summer to engage the young people, starting at age seven.


Cleon McKoy

Cleon McKoy, Sports Coordinator, Gateway Youth Center

“Volleyball runs for three weeks, after which we will have a number of other camps following. You have judo, yo have basketball, yo have drumming, yo have bamboo arts, yo have baseball, yo have boxing. So we have a number of other camps that will run us until the middle of august.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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