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Jul 18, 2012

SMART sponsors football summer camp for kids

Youth summer camps are popping up all over and the disciplines are varied from creative arts programmes, to math, sports and other interesting activities. Today we caught with a three week summer camp that is geared at honing the skills of youths from as young as age four in the sport of football. It is the Stars Summer Camp, which is sponsored by our friends at Smart and it is being held at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. Over eighty participants will be learning football techniques. Freelance reporter Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Eighty-four youths are participating in a three weeks football summer camp at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. Stars Summer Camp has been ongoing for the past four years and is teaching the youths the fundamentals of the sport.


Stanley Reneau

Stanley Reneau, Head Coordinator, Stars Summer Camp

“We deal with strictly fundamentals—the passing, dribbling, heading. As you know the football community, the Belizean is lack of passing. The passing game is nowhere. We expect them to go home with a better idea of football, the way to play football; the proper way to play football, the skills, the fundamentals; everything.”


Kaya Cattouse, Camp Instructor

“We try to teach skills for an hour; you know, killing the ball, passing the ball and then we go into small sided games to just finish off the day and try to teach them discipline; let them follow the rules.”


Kaya Cattouse

The youths are learning from the best; including Captain of the FC Belize Football Team, Vallan Simms, and 2012 Cross Country Women’s Champ, Kaya Cattouse, who is also a trained footballer.


Kaya Cattouse

“For those who didn’t know, I was the captain of the female national team 2009-2010.”


Duane Moody

“Teaching the sport to the youth, what do you feel is the most challenging part of it?”


Kaya Cattouse

“Definitely, the discipline. These guys, they know how to play ball, they have a passion for the sport, but discipline is the main factor. They just want to what they want to do and how they want to do it; they don’t want to follow rules. So in the past two weeks, that’s what we’ve tried to instill in them.”


Vallan Simms

Vallan Simms, Camp Instructor

“Every year, I deal with the youngest one. You have to have patience to deal with them. And they are fun; you see them enjoying themselves. Sometimes every minute you have to holler for them, but they keep you active out here and I enjoy it. They are young, but when you teach them something, they are willing to learn. You teach them how to dribble; you teach them how to pass and how to buck. Some of the harder stuff you can’t teach them because they are so young, but you teach them the basics and they are enjoying themselves doing that.”


The participants are placed in groups by age starting as young as four and as old as eighteen. The purpose of the camp is to pool and improve football skills from an early age.


Richard Hoare, Camp Participant

Richard Hoare

“I like play football because I dah wah great football player.”


Duane Moody

“What you di learn?”


Richard Hoare

“Football and basketball. I always shoot ina the rim and the goal.”


Cameron Diego

Cameron Diego, Camp Participant

“How to shoot, how to dribble and how to pass a ball.”


Duane Moody

“You will take this back to school and show you friends?”


Cameron Diego



Duane Moody

“Did you always like football?”


Cameron Diego



Malykah Reneau

Malykah Reneau, Camp Participant

“Dribbling, bucking, passing the ball and making new friends. It’s entertaining and it is good for you.”


Duane Moody

“What you think you need fi do fi make you score wah goal?”


Malykah Reneau

“Keeping focus.”


John King

But the camp is not only for football enthusiasts as it also whets the talent of young athletes including semi-pro footballer of the Placencia Assassins, John King.


John King, Camp Participant

“Out there, eighteen year old kids are very violent and doing most of the crimes and I just want to show youths that it doesn’t make any sense and you can show other youths with my talent because I’m a semi-pro player. In Belize all the kids are watching TV and they love Cristiano Renaldo and they love Lionel Messi and they’re basically watching them beating and doing their different skills. I just want to bring to the table that the kids can pass more often and take the basic.”


The camp was organized with the assistance of several corporate companies including SMART.


Ian Courtenay

Ian Courtenay, Public Relations Officer, SMART

“We have, and this is not the first year we’ve done it, helped sponsored this camp because we believe that we need to provide positive activities for our young people over the summer holidays. It is something that we felt would be very productive for the kids from the communities they come out of and we have therefore partnered for the past three years now to do this initiative. Smart through its Smart Cares program always looks for ways to give back to the community. So we set aside funds for these types of activities throughout the year and this is just one of the initiatives that we try to give back to the community who has supported us.”


Duane Moody

“Do you think these youths are the future footballers of Belize?”


Kaya Cattouse

“Definitely, definitely.”


The camp culminates this Friday with an award ceremony where the participants will receive certificates and trophies. Duane Moody for News Five.

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