By Monique Washington
“Sports can impact your lives positively and in return you can positively impact your community,” were words imparted to the young participants at the opening of Emanuel Richards’s football camp by the Permanent Secretary (P.S.) in Sports Keith Glasgow on Monday.
The camp is held for two weeks at the St. Thomas primary school from 9-12p.m. Football is played competitively in Nevis at the primary school level once a year, between November to December.
P.S. Glasgow told the players football can provide “glorious opportunities” but it will come with hard work.
Also speaking at the opening was Raybo Smith, presidentof the St.Kitts and Nevis Football Association, who told participants that football has become a very big business. He said that not only will they learn how to play the sport but they will also learn how to be disciplined.
Smith assured Richards of the Football Association support.
“The Football Association supports this program,” Smith said. “We will contribute to this program.”
Camp coordinator and coach at the St. Thomas Primary School Emanuel “Eddy ” Richards, explained to the Observer on Monday, why the school hosts the camp in the summer.
“One of the reasons I am doing this camp is that during the vacation you find a lot of children on the street with nothing to do,” Richards said.“So I chose the time wisely where I can do this camp, help the children, and teach them a lot of football skills.”
Now in its 12th year, the camp has 46 registered participants ages five to 15. Richards noted that once a child is trained in the basics of the game early, it becomes easier for them to become great players.
“Kids will learn how to dribble, how to pass the ball properly, how to head up the ball properly, they will learn how to kick to the goal and controlling,” Richards said. “When you are playing football the basics count.”
Richards has received help from different primary school coaches including Kell Parry, Jammy Hamilton, Dulani Phillip and Aljjay Newton.
The camp is sponsored by Bank of Nevis, Nevis Multi Line, Hon.Mark Brantley, Social Security, Nevis Spring Water, Nevis Bakery,NEVLEC, Development Bank, LEFCO, Kay Electrical Services, Nevis Cooperative Credit Union and CIBC First Caribbean.
Richards noted his biggest goal for the camp is for the kids to “learn the basics and take them back to their school and teach the other children. “These kids look up to the big names in the sport but they need to know it takes very hard work to get there,”he concluded.