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Aug 9, 2006

Camp promotes football, fights crime

Story PictureSo far this summer we’ve seen camp sessions for art, dance, music, swimming and even chess. This morning I looked in one programme designed to keep kids out of trouble … and at the same time improve the future of football.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Thirteen year old Andres Makin may very well be one of the best young foot ball jugglers in the country.

The teenager says it takes concentration and good balance to keep the ball from falling to the ground but that he learned the technique from his family who are all avid football fans. Makin hopes to become a professional foot ball player, one day but for the time being he has been working up a sweat on the Yabra Green. Makin and several other boys and girls between the ages of six and seventeen years old are part of an effort by the Belize City Council to provide opportunities to enhance the lives of at risk youths and at the same time expand the sports programme in the old capital.

Councillor Philip Willoughby, Coordinator, Summer Football Camp
?What is going on out here is a development programme for football. That will end up as it matures and progresses into a community based development programme for the kids with the discipline of football.?

?Where we will have three teams from each football field set up at an under twelve, under fifteen and under seventeen throughout the city, and we will be playing games to continue the development programme.?

Jerome Meheia, Coach, Summer Football Camp
?We work with good heading, good control, good juggling of the ball and good receiving of the ball. It is very important to know how to receive the ball at any part of the body if you are a footballer, right. So we stress that each player has to have these skills like good heading, good killing of the ball, good trapping, good passing, good timing and that will take us to the road of world cup.?

Jerome Meheia, better known as ?Peel off?, is just one of the nine semi pro football players coaching the young campers.

Ernest Morris, Sports Coordinator, Belize City Council
?We tested our youths in Socottz on Sunday, where we competed against a well organized community team, who were very good to us by supporting and feeding our kids. Well our kids participated with their under twelve and we lost two to nothing, but the kids show–but we saw what you know what are our goals and what we went out to do. And the under fifteen they fought real hard and they lost four to three, but the under seventeen won four to two.?

City Councillor Philip Willoughby, the camp coordinator, says they are encouraged by the overwhelming response. Willoughby says the programme is not only about the development of sports but it seeks to also address the social ills affecting the children …. like fourteen year old Jomo Lamb who after dropping out of school will soon be returning to the classroom.

Jomo Lamb, Participant, Summer Football Camp
?Well nothing to do for the summer. I am keeping myself cool right now. This programme right here–right now they are putting me back in school and thing. Because I never want to be back in school, but they put me back in a school.?

Phillip Willoughby
?He was attending A.C.C. at one point. For whatever reason, he did not go back last year and numerous attempts and pushing and hard work with the administration, the vice principal and principal, at A.CC. has accepted him back.?

It is hoped that the discipline learned at the camp will help Lamb to remain focused at high school.

Phillip Willoughby
?They are wonderful and super at what they do in terms of playing football, but we believe an educational side of the sport can help them.?

Willoughby says they are in the process of approaching Gwen Lizarraga High school to help an additional five students get a start on their secondary education. In the meantime the youths are having fun on the field.

Jacqueline Godwin
?How long you have playing football, and what do you like so much about he sport??

Jomo Lamb
?I just start for about a year now, and it will help me improve my goal and thing. When I grow up I want to play on the field and thing, so I hope this help it too.?

Councillor Willoughby says they will be seeking financial support from the business community to help support the programme.

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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