The Sandals Foundation has once again taken steps to invest in youth development in Barbados, this time by providing BDS$21,000 to fund a team of coaches to conduct a year-long schools’ sports and recreation programme.
The five coaches will work with over 150 children now set to benefit from afterschool and weekend activities at the Dover, Christ Church playing field.
The decision to invest in the weekly programme, which will be conducted by the Paradise Football Club, follows the success of the Game Changer Football Camp hosted in Barbados last April by Sandals Foundation and DeRo Foundation.
Over 53 children aged 4-16 years participated in the Easter camp and the positive impact it had on them has prompted the Foundation to extend the initiative and invite others with similar interest, who wish to hone their talent and actively pursue their dreams.
Augustin Jacob, vice president and coach of the Paradise Club, thanked the Sandals Foundation for the assistance.
“Over the years we have had companies who made us promises and never delivered or fell short, but not the Sandals Foundation.
“From our first meeting with Heidi Clarke, director of programmes at the Sandals Foundation, I knew they were serious and they proved it by hosting the DeRo camp during Easter break and now allowing us to offer stipends to our hard-working coaches for this programme.
“We want to thank the Sandals Foundation and assure them that the contributions will not be wasted. We have already started the youth programme with the coaches as we look forward to seeing these teams compete in the Youth Tournament in 2017 with the goal of winning.”
The parents of the participants were equally excited about the ongoing initiative and Jenifer Jones, whose eight-year-old son attended the camp, said: “My son was very impressed by the coaches and told me he learnt a lot. I thought it was a nice gesture by Sandals.
“I was very impressed by the discipline aspect of the camp where they taught the kids to be respectful and spoke about things like drugs and even a pep talk session with Alison Hinds. I am pleased that something like this can continue throughout the year as it gives my son something positive to look forward to that he thoroughly loves.”
The Paradise Football Club is an active group of parents and local coaches who volunteer their time for the advancement of children through sports. The programme is structured to build and develop players for the future.
Since 2016 the football partnership with DeRo Foundation has extended across the Caribbean impacting over 150 youths.