Basseterre, St. Kitts, 15th July 2015 – Children of the Newtown Community and its environs will soon have access to a special organization that will allow them to begin enjoying and learning the game of football.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) recently donated a set of ‘grassroots equipment’ to the newly formed GOALS Academy, during a simple presentation ceremony held at Football House on Lozack Road.
Included in the donated equipment were footballs, football bibs, cones and miniature goals. The donation was made possible through SKNFA’s Grassroots program. Under this program, children are exposed to the game early, and it allows them to understand and experience team spirit, fair play and the value of friendship in an environment that is fun, simple, exciting and rewarding to them.
In presenting the equipment to GOALS Academy, the SKNFA General Secretary Stanley Jacobs said the Association was pleased to partner with GOALS Academy.
He said, “As we know, grassroots is the foundation of football development, and we in St. Kitts and Nevis have had a very aggressive grassroots program going back many years, where we have, in fact, collaborated with all our clubs, all of the primary schools on St. Kitts and on Nevis to provide them with grassroots equipment and the training of grassroots coaches.”
He underscored that the grassroots program was integral to the future of football growth and development in the federation.
SKNFA Technical Director Lenny Lake said specialized academies, such as GOALS, were very important for the federation. “We support programs like this, as they help enhance the development of the product,” he said.
Lake explained, “Right now we have numerous clubs involved in youth development, but when you have an academy that focuses on developing youth from a very early age, it is something that the association must pay attention to, because one of the mandates of the technical development and the technical director is to ensure that football develops throughout the entire federation.”
GOALS’ Managing and Administrative Director Tivanna Wharton explained why the academy was founded. “We saw the need for a youth academy that was solely focused on developing the skills of our children at a formative age, hence we came up with this idea, GOALS, Get Out And Learn Soccer. We wanted it to be centered around the game, and also, children can set their own goals and look forward to achieving them,” Wharton said.
The administrative director said the donation was timely, as the equipment was needed, indicating that it will help them to achieve the one football per child aim.
Well-known Clinton ‘Tinnie’ Percival, a former head coach of the National Football Team, is also engaged with GOALS, as he dedicates more time with youth in the country. He performs the role of technical director. In addition, Lionel ‘Lister’ Hewlett is a contributing coach at GOALS Academy.
Wharton closed, “We look forward to welcoming the children, and having a great time with them and teaching them the various disciplines of the game of football.”