By:Curtis Morton

Twenty coaches from across Nevis graduated from the historic Olympic solidarity youth coaching course which was held in Nevis for the very first time.

The Five day course was coordinated through the auspices of FIFA; the St. Kitts-Nevis Olympic Committee (SKNOC); the St. Kitts- Nevis football Association (SKNFA) and the Nevis Island Administration, through its Sports Department.

A brief closing ceremony was held on Saturday 24th September.

The ceremony was ably chaired by Mr. Stanley Jacobs, Secretary-general of the SKNFA who reminded those present of the mission of the SKNFA: ‘Create opportunities for everyone through Football.’

He indicated that Nevis will feature big in terms of the development of Football in the federation.

Facilitator of the course Etienne Siliee, in his remarks noted that he shared five hours per day for five days but pointed out that the responsibility of the coaches is just starting.  He told them that now that they have learnt, they have to impart the knowledge to the youngsters on Nevis. He encouraged them to make a difference, despite the challenges. ‘Make an effort to change the mindset,’ he said.

He thanked all responsible for making his stay meaningful and exciting. He referred to his experience as a nice one.

Minister responsible for Sports, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, in her remarks, noted that the NIA is spending tremendous money in the development of sports, in all of its forms and mentioned the fact that four coaches were recently sent to Jamaica on specific courses, towards this end.

She thanked the various organizations responsible for making the course possible.

She revealed that Nevis is looking forward to the following: Goal project number three; an all-weather track and the upgrade of the ET Willett Park.

She referred to the training as timely and significant, as preparation is necessary.

She further noted that sport is an effective way to channel the energies of young people away from deviant behaviour.

She thanked the facilitator but noted that the onus of responsibility is now on the participants to put what they have learnt into practice. She admonished them to note that accountability and respect must be mutual and stated that they must instill a passion for the game into the youngsters.

President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Olympic committee, Mr. Alphonso Bridgewater, congratulated the participants for ‘staying the course and enduring to the end’ and advised them to turn to the writings of Paul when they needed inspiration, as he opined that based on his writings, Paul had to be an athlete of some sort.

He noted that the course had not left them looking exhausted and spoke to the two in one experience that the federation affords.

He spoke to the fulfillment of a need in Nevis which has been filled by the completion of the course.

He reasoned that the participants should have developed some respect for themselves; for the Ministry; respect for the country and for the game in general.

He challenged them to move the SKNFA ranking to 50 or below by 2017. ‘You have a part to play,’ he stated.

He also challenged them to aspire to having 120 level one coaches by 2017 and 10% females included.

He asked them to utilize the ‘BUT WHY’ theory which forces persons to think and analyze situations and seek to find positive solutions.

He stated that comparison should not bring envy nor pride but should help persons to realize that they are unique and special.

The participants were then presented with two certificates: One from FIFA and one from the Olympic committee and a surprise token of ADIDAS material.

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