DIGICEL KICK START CLINICS AND EDUCATION: A GOOD COMBINATION – Antigua and Barbuda players show they can excel in education & football

The Digicel Kick Start Clinics stopped in the twin island republic of Antigua and Barbuda where the country’s talented young footballers got a chance to train with coaches from English Premier League side, Chelsea FC – supported by the local high schools which allowed these boys to complete their exams in time to attend the Clinic.

The top three boys selected to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the Digicel Academy, from L-R: 16 year-old Kwame Dirby, 16 year-old Denny Henry and 15 year-old Ngozie Harvey

The top three boys selected to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the Digicel Academy, from L-R: 16 year-old Kwame Dirby, 16 year-old Denny Henry and 15 year-old Ngozie Harvey

Players who were selected to attend the Digicel Kick Start Clinic had major exams slated for the day of the Clinic and so the Principals from two of the major high schools on the island rescheduled their exams for an earlier time to ensure that the participating boys could attend the Clinic.

Assistant Principal of the Princess Margaret School, Samuel Roberts, said; “We don’t want the boys to feel that they have to choose between academic and athletic success. Our job is to create well-rounded young men who will have a good academic foundation which will help them succeed at whatever they choose to do with their lives – including playing football. We see where the Digicel Kick Start programme is helping these young men to improve their abilities in football by refining their talent and we want to support our students who earned the chance to benefit from that training.”

International Technical Support Officer for the Chelsea FC Foundation and Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, Steven Winnett, said he was encouraged by the massive support displayed by the local coaches and schools who ensured that football and education can work together, he said; “It’s a great experience being in Antigua and Barbuda and interacting with these players at the Digicel Kick Start Clinics. The coaches and I were very impressed with the level of skill and talent the players displayed which made it a challenge to pick the three boys who we think should attend the Academy. We were equally impressed with the level of support and hospitality we received from the school officials and the local coaching fraternity who helped to make this a smooth-running Clinic. They demonstrated that these aspiring young footballers can do well in their studies and still have the opportunity to improve their skills at the Kick Start Clinics and at the Academy for those who were selected.

Wild card pick, 14 year-old Christian Fernandez, poses with Chelsea FC Foundation Coaches, Zak Wooster, Steven Winnett and Scott Nurse

Wild card pick, 14 year-old Christian Fernandez, poses with Chelsea FC Foundation Coaches, Zak Wooster, Steven Winnett and Scott Nurse

The Digicel Kick Start Clinics - now in their eighth year – see thousands of aspiring young footballers from across 15 countries in the Caribbean and Central America try out for their chance to travel to the Digicel Academy in Barbados and train under top coaches from Barclays Premier League side, Chelsea FC.

During the week-long Digicel Academy, the top 42 boys from across the region get the chance of a lifetime to receive intensive training under coaches from Barclays Premier League side, Chelsea Football Club.

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