Kingston, Jamaica - Tuesday, April 30, 2013: The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), in partnership with Digicel wrapped up the first staging of the Digicel/JFF Grassroots Football Festival last Saturday at the JFF football centre located on the University of the West Indies, Mona campus. Launched in May 2012, the programme has trained approximately 2,000 youngsters island-wide, with boys and girls aged 6-12 participating in every parish.
National coordinator for the programme, Andre Virtue, was pleased to say that, “Year one was amazing. It was a great opportunity to go across the island to make contact with kids who wouldn’t get this opportunity.” Virtue further added that one of the main objectives of the Digicel Grassroots programme is to encourage discipline and character-building amongst the youngsters as talent is oftentimes already present.
At the training sessions all participants, one quarter of which were girls, were taken through the different aspects of the sport which included dribbling, passing and free play where they got a chance to put their new-found skills to good use. Eleven year old Djibril Edwards from Mona, who participated in the wrap-up festival, was pleased to be a part of the programme. He proudly expressed that, “My favourite experience of the day was that I actually got to play.”
The participants were trained by coach educators, that is, aspiring coaches ranging from physical education teachers to parents with an interest in positively impacting young lives – who themselves were guided by national football coaches and former national players.
Title sponsor of the Grassroots Football Festival, Digicel was pleased with the programme in its first year. “Football is a staple in Jamaica and across the region and it provides a number of great opportunities for our players locally, regionally and internationally. Digicel is therefore committed to continuing to invest in the game from this early stage so that we have truly talented and skilled players who will help to preserve the game of football for years to come” shared Tahnida Nunes, Digicel’s Senior Sponsorship Manager.