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Nov 9, 2018

The Winners of the National Primary School Football Championship

From early as eight o’clock this morning, young talented football athletes from twelve primary schools from across the country converged in Belize City for an opportunity of a lifetime. The annual national primary school football championship is ongoing at the Marion Jones Stadium. In the girl’s category, we can report that Valley of Peace Christian School in Cayo has bested the competing teams with Stann Creek’s Holy Ghost placing second and Saint Luke’s Methodist, third. At news time, the competition in the male category is ongoing between Trial Farm Government School in Orange Walk and the team from Saint Jude’s in Stann Creek.  The winners represent Belize in an international U-fifteen championship game. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The primary school football championships in the male and female categories commenced today in Belize City at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex and the MCC Grounds for the girls and boys district champions, respectively. Twelve schools from across the country converged in the city to determine the best of the best. The winning team from each division gets the opportunity to represent the country internationally in the 2019 CODICADER Games.

 

Ian Jones

Ian Jones, Director, National Sports Council

“In each district across the country, we have district tournaments, split up in different zones depending on the geography of the district because as you know some of the primary schools are spread out further. For example in Toledo the schools are very far apart so we partnered with the Roman Catholic management. If you were to win a zone competition, then you advance to the district finals. In the district finals, you have both male and female and then the champions then advances to the nationals. As I said earlier, the winner of the nationals in both male and female will represent the country of Belize in next year’s U-fifteen CODICADER Games in Costa Rica.”

 

The primary school national championship programme has evolved to become the qualifier for the regional competition. This, National Sports Council Director Ian Jones says, will help the council to identify the young football athletes that can help advance the country in the discipline.

 

Ian Jones

“We have been advancing in football in CODICADER so to have a champion from now, we can then put the technical investment into these schools to make sure they continuously train throughout the year so that when that time comes, they are ready. Last year, there wasn’t any CODICADER but the timing was great for the Football Federation’s selection of the U-fifteen national team, so they use this as a selection process to scout the players for that U-fifteen national team which as you all know did very well in that tournament. So what we are trying to do from the Sports Council is to have our kids participate in more international tournaments and get more exposure.”

 

Jones says it is much more than hosting tournaments for these students, but that the council is working avidly to get teachers professionally trained in football to foster the development of the athletes at a young age as well as the sport.

 

Ian Jones

“We need to invest in actual training of the kids. But before we do that, we have to invest in training the trainers. So we started this year with football and we partnered with the Football Federation to actually get teachers trained and certified to teach these kids the basic of football. And in total we had a hundred and sixty participants countrywide because we did it in every district.   A lot of these teachers, they go out and do it because they love the sport, but they lack sometimes the basics in terms of training—the rules of the game, the laws, the fundamentals. So we’re saying that we will equip you with this tool because then it will help the National Sports Council in our ultimate goals.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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