Belize, small as it may be, has proven to the world that it has the potential to compete against the big countries in football at both the senior and junior levels. One would only think that the next step is to continue by investing in more training programs for young athletes as they are the future of football in Belize. Well on Thursday the FFB, with the assistance of CONCACAF, is taking thought into action to develop and enhance the level of football performance in the country through the Grassroots Program. The Grassroots is an international program which is designed to equip coaches with the necessary skills to train football athletes at the primary school level; targeting children between the ages of 6 to 12. The Senior Vice President of FFB Sergio Chuc told us more.
FFB Sergio Chuc – Senior VP FFB:
We have international coaches with us right now, that CONCACAF has sent over for us. So it’s a continuation of some of the programs that we have in place. These people qualified as Grassroots coaches. We’ll be seeing a lot more football throughout the country, because the participants are from down south to north, from east to west, a couple of them [are] from the islands. So we’re definitely be seeing a lot more football being played around Belize. Some of these same coaches will be inspired to go a little higher, and hopefully become professional coaches, one of these days.
Robert Hernandez, Resident of Benque in the Cayo district is taking advantage of the Grassroots training program. He told us why he is taking part in this three day course.
Robert Hernandez – Participant:
Well I’ve been working a lot with children in Primary School level, and I think this is a good opportunity for us to develop out country. I’ve been coaching for over 16 years now. I have had a lot of experiences at the national and international level. I think it’s a very good opportunity, and something very important that is happening in Belize, that I would like to be part of it.
Although this program is primarily to enhance football play, the aim of the program extends as far as developing the country through a disciplinary approach. Joel Wesby, Deputy Mayor of Belmopan; Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports; and Hugo Salcedo, Development Director of CONCACAF agreed that it starts with the children.
The program started Thursday and will end with a football festival on Saturday, August 31, where the coaches will be able to apply what they learnt.