The opening ceremony was held, as per usual at the set home of the camp, the St. Thomas’ Primary School.
It all started with a prayer by Mrs. Janice Richards and the singing of the national anthem by all present.
Emmanuel Richards himself, gave the opening remarks and noted that the program was now in its 14th year. In giving recognition to all of the sponsors, he had special words of commendation for Nevis Multi Line and Premier Mark Brantley, who both sponsored his first program and are still with him up to the present time.
He then turned his attention to the children and told them that Football is a high paying sport which can become a full time job but they need to have manners; seek to master the skills of passing, controlling and dribbling; have respect for their peers and coaches and to remember it is a team sport and not a sport for selfishness.
Also addressing the gathering, was Minister of Sports, Hon. Eric Evelyn, who stated that it was significant that the program was starting the very next day, after the conclusion of the Football world cup. He encouraged the children to aim high, to be disciplined and to pay attention to what will be taught during the two week program and indicated that one day, some of them may also be playing in a world cup.
He also indicated that the program will also serve the significant purpose of getting the young people into a state of fitness, as he pointed out that there was a rise in the number of young persons being affected by non-communicable diseases which could be traced to lack of fitness and exercise and poor diets.
Mr. Carlyse BINGHI Pemberton, representative for one of the sponsors, SL Horsfords, told the children that he did not get such an opportunity when he was going to school and asked them to make the most of it.
He stated that his company was very happy to be a part of their development and also pointed out the financial rewards that can result from a successful career in Football. He also congratulated Mr. Richards for his tenacity and enduring spirit and wished the program well.
Immediately after the opening ceremony, the children and the coaches went onto the field and the real action started.
The camp is expected to conclude on Friday 27th July.