Participants taking part in FIFA’s Grassroots coaching course have been urged to see themselves as more than just coaches.
That advice has come from the course’s facilitator and FIFA instructor, Lenny Lake, who told the 30 participants that they had an opportunity to change lives.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the four-day course at the Barbados Olympic Association this morning, he insisted that they had an important role to play in helping to develop the lives of young children.
“These children are going to believe in you more than they believe in their parents. Your habits and your behaviours will be copied and imitated, so if you are in this programme, know you are in this programme to help make a change in young people’s lives,” Lake explained.
“You have the future of Barbados in your hand. Not just coaches and not just players. Maybe even Prime Ministers,” he added to rapturous applause.
He also encouraged them to have fun during the course, which will cater to children between the ages of six and 12, and to share the knowledge gained with their peers.
It will be Lake’s second time in Barbados conducting a grassroots clinic, following his participation in CONCACAF’s programme last year.
In her brief address, general secretary of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Joyce Stewart also encouraged the participants to embrace what she considered “a very different approach to what they were probably used to”.
“This isn’t about competition, this isn’t about the number of goals scored, this isn’t about winning, but rather it’s about fun.
“You will be helping to shape the minds and in some cases the lives of these youngsters…so it is important that you do not lose focus of why you are here,” she noted.
The BFA’s technical director, Marcos Falopa also reminded the coaches that the course wasn’t intended to save Barbados, but to help in the development of the sport.