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Jul 27, 2018

NSC Concludes Summer Sports Camp

Some two hundred young children have been enjoying their summer vacation at a sports camp in the city. The camp presented the young athletes with the opportunity to harness their skills in popular sporting activities. To ease parents, the children ages five to fifteen were transported to the Marion Jones Sporting Complex where they engaged in the sport of their choice with help from experienced coaches and trainers. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

An athletics camp by the National Sports Council concluded today at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Close to two hundred children from across Belize City participated in the two weeks camp that taught them the fundamentals of four sporting disciplines: track and field, football, softball and basketball.

 

Ian Jones

Ian Jones, Director, National Sports Council

“A lot of the children are mostly from the south side so what we did was have a school bus go around different neighborhoods, pick up the kids along with our sports coordinator on the bus, along with a police officer.  We bring them over to the summer camp and then have the kids decide which sport discipline they are most interested in. At this age group, you want the child to fall in love with the sport; you have to love the sport first before you can even teach them the fundamentals. So that was the first thing; allowing them to have fun and fall in love with the sport. That is why we gave them the opportunity pick which sport it is they wanted to do.”

 

The trainers are professional athletes themselves, as well as coaches, who have represented the country internationally. This is to further inspire the many young talented children.

 

Ian Jones

“What we did was to bring in the professionals. For basketball you will notice that we have some national team players. We have Elvis Olivera who happens to be a staff of the National Sports Council. We have players from the Belize Defenders who are here today; during the week, we had players from the Hurricanes along with the coach Jamel Wagner who also did some instructions. Out on the football field, we have certified coaches from the football federation. On the track, we have national athletes, the Carr sisters and Coach Ernest Morris. Also in the softball, we brought in the soft federation so they could bring in their expertise.  So it wasn’t just a matter of bringing the kids to waste time or to kill time. They are actually learning fundamental skills and at the same time having fun.”

 

The camp revealed that there are some very talented youths in the city, but who have limited access to facilities to harness their abilities. The budding athletes were excited about the opportunity to learn technique and discipline through the sport.

 

Teja Arnold, 15-year-old Participant, Track & Field

“Only running, I really like running.”

 

Duane Moody

“What have you been learning from the camp?”

 

Teja Arnold

Teja Arnold

“How to run, how to set the blocks, how to jump, long jump.”

 

Shamar Ortiz, 14-year-old Participant, Track & Field

“I started when I was five. It was a great experience and ever since I was in love with it so I keep doing it.”

 

Shamar Ortiz

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about what the camp has taught you.”

 

Shamar Ortiz

“The camp has taught us about technique, learning technique and why it is needed and about building up endurance.”

 

Bryson Bucknor

Bryson Bucknor, 15-year-old Participant, Football

“I’ve been playing the sport from since I was twelve and before the camp started, Coach Chef already had a football programme going on and he asked me to be a part of the summer programme and this is how I ended up being a part of the programme. But the key stuff he’s showed us is passing, controlling, dribbling, how to maneuver the ball, how to shoot the ball and different stuff with the ball. And in this programme it also teaches you discipline.”

 

Just before midday, as the sessions came to an end, the children were provided with a school bag containing basic back to school supplies.

 

Ian Jones

“The initiative is from the Deputy Prime Minister so he had said we needed to give the kids something. So we dug through our budget and we found the finances. On top of that, the Vice President of our Board, Orson Elrington actually went out and sought sponsorship and we did get some donation from the Taiwanese Embassy.”

 

While the target group was children from eight to fifteen years of age, the camp even accepted five year olds. Duane Moody for News Five.

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