DIGICEL KICK START PROGRAMME LAUNCHES IN JAMAICA
Once again, the Digicel Kick Start Clinics will be looking for the best young footballing talent the Caribbean and Central America has to offer and this year, the programme was launched in Jamaica with the first Clinic being held there.
The Digicel Kick Start Clinics – now in their eighth year – will again see thousands of aspiring young footballers from across 14 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 initial community clinics held in each country, hundreds of children will try out for their place to be coached under three top coaches from Chelsea FC. The 30 best children from each country will train under the coaches in the hope of being one of the top three chosen by them to go to the Digicel Academy in Barbados representing their country.
Speaking at the launch event in Kingston, Minister with responsibility for Sport, Natalie Neita-Headley, said; “The programme is a win win for us all and we are proud to be a part of it. We believe that the region is blessed with an abundance of talent and this programme will offer the players the opportunity to train with coaches from one of the best clubs in the world. We are quite sure that Chelsea will continue to be impressed by the talent of our young people and we are confident that each footballer will do his or her best to succeed. I commend Digicel and Chelsea FC for this initiative.”
Chelsea International Football Development Officer and Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, David Monk, said; “The Digicel Kick Start programme continues to provide a solid foundation for players who want to launch into a career in football. Also, it teaches valuable skills and attitudes that will help them achieve their goals – on and off the pitch. We are excited to be running the Clinics once again as we enjoyed interacting with the players and to see the developments that are taking place across the region.”
Head of Digicel Group Sponsorship, James Wynne, said; “Digicel’s grassroots football has grown from strength to strength and this could not have been possible without the support of all our partners across the Caribbean and Central America – including the hundreds of boys who take part each year. I would like to thank them, the various football associations and all those who support the programme across the region for the opportunity to partner with and give back to our communities.”
This year, the Clinics will travel to Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname and will see the Chelsea FC coaches running the entire programme again, ensuring further development and consistency of training for those aspiring young footballers who are lucky enough to attend both the Clinics and the Academy.
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.
In addition, for the first time in the eight years of the programme, the coaches from the Chelsea FC Foundation are introducing a girls coaching session – further underpinning Digicel’s commitment to the development of the sport among young people regardless of their sex or ability.