29th March, 2016 – Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel continues to expand its support of the region’s talented young athletes with the launch of its 2016 Kickstart grassroots football programme which took place at the Liberty Park in Kingston, Jamaica and will see coaches from top Barclays Premier League team, Manchester City FC (MCFC), hosting the Clinics and the Academy for the first time.
For the past eight years, the Kickstart programme has helped thousands of players across the Caribbean and Central America to benefit from world class training by coaches from top football organisations. The partnership with Manchester City FC, which sees coaches from the City Football Schools programme travelling to the region to deliver these intensive training courses as part of the Digicel Kickstart Clinics, is another step towards ensuring that aspiring young players have an opportunity to take their game to the next level as they benefit from the Club’s expansive footballing expertise.
Digicel Jamaica Sponsorship and Development Manager, Kamal Powell, who spoke at the launch, said; “We are excited to be partnering with Manchester City FC, one of the best clubs in the world, for the 2016 Digicel Kickstart Clinic programme. This has certainly raised the profile and impact of Kickstart as we see our aspiring young athletes who take part in the programme become better players and better individuals. To the boys, I want to encourage you to take this as a stepping stone to truly kick-start your dreams. Make the most of the opportunity, do your best, be proud of yourselves and what you will have accomplished by being a part of the programme but most importantly, have fun.”
Alan Dixon, one of the visiting coaches, also spoke at the event on behalf of Manchester City FC, said; “We are delighted to be in Kingston for the launch of this year’s Kickstart Academy. We believe that this partnership between Digicel and Manchester City provides a great opportunity for young aspiring footballers to gain an insight into what it really feels like to train as a Manchester City player does. We are looking forward to visiting a variety of different countries over the next few weeks and hope all the players enjoy the experience, try their best, and play beautiful football with a positive attitude.”
The coaches will travel to 14 countries across the Caribbean and host intense two day sessions where they will select the best three boys to attend the Digicel Academy. The Kickstart Clinics will be held in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
At last year’s Digicel Academy, the MCFC coaches selected players from the Caribbean to continue training with them for a week at their City Football Academy, an elite training and youth development facility in Manchester, England. While there, they got the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience life as a professional footballer – learning the tactics and strategies employed by Manchester City FC first team players.
The Digicel Kickstart Clinics programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for thousands of aspiring young footballers. Through the Kickstart Clinics, participants not only learn football skills and technical abilities, but also develop an ethos of professionalism and a good attitude – key attributes of successful people across all walks of life.