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Copa Airlines joins GFC camp

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Copa Airlines and the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) are collaborating to advance the development of football in Guyana.  This new partnership seeks to facilitate talented Guyanese footballers in reaching their full potential by taking advantage of opportunities both home and abroad.

In a recent meeting between Copa Airlines and GFC, the challenges young footballers in Guyana face were discussed. Opportunities to showcase their discipline and talent abroad are now available.

However, one problem persists, which is the high cost of airfare to the destinations which young players wish to go on trial. When the ticket for the player cannot be afforded, the player’s opportunity is lost.

Copa’s Sales Manager in Guyana, Nadine Oudkerk, said sport plays an important role in the development of young Guyanese, and football in particular very often provides much needed opportunities for youths in depressed communities.

“Many of our youths, particularly those in depressed communities, are given a real opportunity to succeed through football. Having the requisite skill is one thing, but being able to nurture and develop that potential is often the challenge. Copa Airlines recognises that it can play an integral role in this regard and is extremely happy to be partnering with the Georgetown Football Club to help make dreams come through,” Oudkerk said.

Copa and GFC will also be collaborating in the staging of football clinics in depressed communities and orphanages in Guyana, thereby providing opportunities for talented youths to tap into their potential.  

General Manager of GFC, Faizal Khan, said over the past few years, the club has undertaken an initiative to help young talented footballers develop professionally through “disciplined, technical, tactical, social and psychological football training.”  

Some players have progressed to the extent that they have been able to sign professional contracts overseas.

“One good example of this would be the recent signing by Morvant Caledonia (Trinidad Champions of 2012-2013) of GFC’s Kelsey Benjamin, who, at just 17 years old, has been featured as a starter in the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League, the only fully professional league in the Caribbean today,” he said. 

In addition, it is important to note that integral to the development of football and footballers is the presence of dedicated and knowledgeable coaches, and the infrastructural partnership will go a long way in furthering the coaching education of the young and upcoming coaches who will in turn drive the success of these efforts.

Copa Airlines is happy to be embarking on this new partnership with GFC, which is expected to have a significant and positive impact on aspiring footballers in the country, and the development of the sport as a whole.

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