Fruta Conquerors football camp underway at Tucville
By Avenash Ramzan
Dozens of youngsters from Tucville and neighbouring areas are benefitting from a football and life skills camp organised by the Fruta Conquerors Football Club. The camp started on July 10 and will conclude on July 28.
Over 45 youths are part of the sessions, which not only cater to football training, but critical life skills. The aim is to produce well-rounded individuals who can make a positive contribution to society, according to the club’s Secretary, Daniel Thomas.
“All clubs must have a model for the development of their players. The core for player development is a sound curriculum; the player development occurs when each player trains daily and plays in an environment of the highest quality. To this effect, we at Fruta strive to ensure that we a sound youth development policy, one which not only caters for the child’s soccer development, but one that also caters for his or her educational needs as well,” Thomas explained.
The camp is in its 10th year and has served as a nursery for not just the club’s youth teams, but also the national set-up.
“For this year it was decided that the focus of the camp would be on youth leadership skills and as such we have those kids who are 12 to 17 years involved in that aspect of the programme, and those who are ages seven to 11 are being tutored in remedial reading, writing and mathematics,” Thomas explained.
Apart from the theoretical and practical sessions in football, the youngsters will be exposed to topics such as self-expression, communication, team-building, goal-setting, personal motivation, social responsibility and personal leadership skills.
Also offering remarks at Thursday’s launch were officials of some of the bodies that have partnered with the club to stage the camp. They included Guyana Football Federation’s president Wayne Forde, Director of Sport Christopher Jones, Scotiabank’s Marketing Manager Jennifer Cipriani and Ronald Austin Jr of the Ministry of the Presidency.
Forde said, “Fruta Conquerors Football Club is a fine example at many, many levels of football in Guyana. The values that this club represent and stand for ought to be emulated by all clubs that operate within the football family in Guyana. The emphasis that is placed on youth development has not only benefitted the club over the years, making it one of the most dominant clubs on the field, but it has benefitted the national programme.”
Austin Jr remarked, “When we received contact to be involved in this programme I had no doubt in mind that we would want to associate with this kind of programme- it is very positive. We’re living in a time when these kinds of programmes and engagements are becoming few and far apart, and our office would like to say to the club and everyone who is involved ‘be proud of yourself, we’re very much willing to always support this effort.’ It’s our first time being involved and I can guarantee you it is not going to be our last.”
Cipriani told the young footballers, “As a sponsor these are the kinds of initiatives we look for; initiatives that target our youths in improving their lives because our mandate is to help customers become better off and you guys sitting here are potential customers. In another couple of years you would be working (and) you’d need a bank and we want to have good customers. I was quite pleased when Daniel shared the programme with me and I saw that in addition to learning football the other life skills that you guys are learning and that is so important with these kinds of sessions.”
The camp is geared to produce the next generation of players for the club, and the executives are confident it will be a great success this year.