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Feb 5, 2019

Meet the 2018 F.F.B. Youth Awardees

An investment in football is bearing fruits for the next generation of footballers. A group of athletes from all over the country were carefully selected and honoured over the weekend for their potential in the sport. Those who made the cut, both female and males, have competed and showed remarkable skills. The programme, by the Football Federation of Belize, also goes beyond the athletes and includes coaches as well as other technical staff. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Over twenty football athletes and coaches of the 2018 Youth Club Competition were awarded over the weekend at a ceremony held at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex in Belize City. There were a total of seven awards for the under-fifteen male division and the under-seventeen category for both the female and male divisions. The awards were for the best defender, midfielder, goalkeeper, the MVP as well as for the best coach. The event highlights the investments being made on the youth in an effort to improve the future of sport.

 

Sergio Chuc

Sergio Chuc, President, F.F.B.

“We embarked on a very ambitious programme and we knew that it was going to take a while for the fruits to be shown and at this stage, we are laying down the foundation and you kids that are being awarded today are some of the cornerstones of this foundation that the federation has laid down. We’ve had competitions throughout the entire length and breadth of Belize—from the islands in San Pedro to the westernmost region, which is Benque Viejo. We’ve had competitions from Punta Gorda way up to Corozal through Belize City, Orange Walk, Belmopan. We’ve had competition for youths all through the country and this will continue this year.”

 

The awardees were selected based on their performance during the 2018 competitions. It was a special day for the young athletes, both boys and girls, who aspire to take on the sport professionally.

 

Cruz Gamez

Idemuei Moss, Competitions Director, F.F.B.

“The tournaments that we are doing is a holistic approach to football. It is not only about the players, but it is also about the clubs, the coaches, the referees. We want to have an evolution. We want to move teams to become clubs. We want parents, teachers to become coaches. We want regular players, regular coaches to become elite players, to become elite coaches. We all have the potential to accomplish this.”

 

Guest speaker at the awards ceremony, Karina LeBlanc, is the Head of Women’s Football for CONCACAF. She says that football gives you value, purpose, a voice and a reason. A motivational speaker, LeBlanc told the awardees that adversities push you to excel—personally, educationally, and athletically.

 

Karina LeBlanc

Karina LeBlanc, Head of Women’s Football, CONCACAF

“Playing for your country is the biggest honour that you can have. There’s two types of people who get to put on that jersey and put that flag over the heart; those that protect the country, like the military, and those that inspire the country like you guys. And I mean it in terms of the federation too because what you do day in and day out inspires people. How you act on the field, day in and day out inspires people. Each and every one of us have something that we uniquely bring to this earth. And if you start to ask yourself why I am actually here on this earth and if it is to play football for your country, then you commit to that. You do the extra work, you do when no one’s watching; you do the fitness and the extra touches.”

 

LeBlanc also spoke about her responsibility, through CONCACAF, to improve the level of football, primarily for female athletes, within this region.

 

Karina LeBlanc

“We are committed to make this entire region the best region for football and women’s football. But it starts with the federation, players, parents and committed people like you. I challenge to keep doing what you’re doing; I challenge you to believe in the process because I’ll tell your greatness does not happen overnight. But if you believe in the process and every day you have a goal, but it is not the goal to win everything—it’s the goal to be a better version of yourself, Belize will get to where your president and I talked about last night. You have the right staff, you have the right people, you have the players, but you have to step away from the world of average thinking and thinking that the smart phone is the answer. The answer is getting on that field, playing, battling, fighting, being courageous, being respectful and being your own hero.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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