The Technical Director of the SKNFA, Lenny Lake left St. Kitts yesterday (16th April, 2012), for Belize. In speaking with him, he revealed that this was his second assignment since being appointed as a FIFA Grassroots Instructor in 2011, the first being in Jamaica. Mr. Lake is the first Kittitian to be chosen as a FIFA Grassroots Instructor. In addition, St. Kitts is one of only two Caribbean countries to boast Grassroots Instructors, Trinidad being the other.
Mr. Lake attended a FIFA Grassroots Instructor Seminar in December 2010 where participants would be selected to become FIFA appointed instructors. Other representatives from the Concacaf region included persons from Anguilla, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Island, Cayman Island, Canada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Turks & Caicos Islands, and USA.
The Technical Director explained that the SKNFA Grassroots Programme has improved greatly since its inception in 2004. He further elaborated that the concept of Grassroots on a whole is much clearer o all those involved. “We are now placed in a better position to develop life skills as well as football skills in our youth and of course there is room for further improvement” declared Lake.
Mr. Lake went on to say that the SKNFA hopes to have a Grassroots Programme instilled in all the primary schools’ curricula. He explained that this would be an avenue which would allow girls to become more involved in football from a tender age, thus allowing us to have more organized programmes for them as well as more productive female national teams.
When asked about any recommendations that he would make to improve the programme, he voiced his opinion that the government of St. Kitts-Nevis should come on board to assist in making the programme a part of all schools. “Grassroots can be used as a vehicle to shape the lives of kids and allowing them to become better citizens and ultimately help in the betterment of the islands.
SKNFA along with twenty-one(21) other associations have FIFA Grassroots Instructors out of a possible two hundred and eight(208) associations under FIFA’s umbrella. When asked what this level of recognition means for St. Kitts, Lake stated “This gives St. Kitts a platform for the growth of sports tourism. Through this we can have international Grassroots Festivals where countries can travel to St. Kitts-Nevis not only to see the skills our kids have, but also to engage in cultural exchange”.
He then added “As long as we improve our Grassroots Programme we will have better players, clubs and a better society. I see Grassroots being a part of each school and community in the future. I must applaud FIFA for crystalizing the development of kids in a more organized way”.
Lake, being the humble man that he is parted with these final words “The recognition is not for me, it is for the kids and their future”.