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Aug 3, 2018

Smart Stars wrap up two-week summer camp

Young athletes completed today a two-week sports camp which tested their acumen and discipline on the football field. The camp has been held annually for over a decade by SMART as an investment in young people. The young football aficionados received certificates and trophies for taking part in the summer camp and some of them will go on to play in the Mundialito and other national tournaments. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was at the close of the camp and files this report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Smart Stars received their certificate for completing the two week intensive football camp. The participants who demonstrated exceptional skills, good sportsmanship and discipline were rewarded with trophies and football gears. For veteran footballer Jordan Stanley Reneau, this day is about showing off the fruits of his labour – but it is also about building the future of football and investing in the youth.

 

Stanley Reneau, Head Coordinator, Smart Stars Summer Camp

Stanley Reneau

“In Belize District this last weekend was the U-13 National Tournament and the Belize District won. All the kids who played on the team played through the Mundialito programme, so you can see the fruits of Belize District.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“One of the issues we are facing here in the city is crime among the youth – talk to us about using football as a tool to keep these kids engaged over the summer?”

 

Stanley Reneau

“It is very important because for these last two weeks the kids are out here every morning from eight until twelve. So, right there you know they are doing something very positive.”

Andrea Polanco

“Now the dynamics of the children playing – we know they all come from different neighborhoods. How did that all work?”

 

Stanley Reneau

“Mien that was the hard part. But we tried to take everything over to them but that is definitely the hard, hard part. Even with our U-13 selection this week, it is very hard. But being a coach you gotta be a parent, a teacher, everything. That comes with the coaching education.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the difficulties you noticed among the young people?”

 

Stanley Reneau

“Just working together. We are not together. And with us it is just three or four hours for the day.”

 

Over sixty young boys and girls, ages four to fifteen, from across the city participated in the camp. Some of the boys shared their experience and why they decided to join the Smart Stars Camp this year.

 

Teashaun Jones, Participant

Teashaun Jones

“I decided to come to the summer camp so that you can’t stay on the street all day and to motivate myself to do something better.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you think that this was able to keep you away from problems – trouble?”

 

Teashaun Jones

“Yes, ma’am. It keeps me away from off the streets.”

 

Japhet Welch

Japhet Welch, Participant

“I like that how the people are very nice and how they treat you very well at the camp.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, tell me about the skills you learnt?”

 

Japhet Welch

“I learn how to pass better and how to control the ball. I play midfield on the right wing. I was able to  score one goal..”

 

Patrick Bevans Jr., Participant

Patrick Bevans Jr.

“I pass it to my team fi mek we score a goal.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you like play football?”

 

Patrick Bevans Jr.

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What do you like about playing football?”

 

Patrick Bevans Jr.

“I like how the teams behave. If you fight you can’t play football.”

 

Over the past ten years, the camp has produced several footballers who go on to play in the Mundialito and other national tournaments. For long time sponsor, Smart, this is just one of the many reasons they invest in the young boys and girls in the summer camp – an initiative they want to introduce to other parts of the country.

 

Adelaide Sabido

Adelaide Sabido, Public Relations Officer, Smart

“I must state that this is the tenth consecutive year the camp is running and the eight consecutive year under Smart’s full sponsorship. So, definitely, it is growing. The numbers of participants are increasing and there is demand and hopefully we plan to take this out to the districts, especially in the south where the need is even greater and the talent is there but they just need some guidance to develop in the sport.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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