Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Not just about football

Published:Saturday | December 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Virtue

Coaches Across Continents tackling skills on and off the pitch

Coaches Across Continents (CAC), which operates in 28 countries worldwide, is seeking to use football in a multifaceted way at this week's Football for Social Impact partnership with the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF) and Ballaz International, currently underway.

The programme, which was first conducted last year, will train hundreds of coaches and children. Chief executive strategist Brian Suskiewicz was upbeat about returning.

"By working with these coaches, we expect to impact at least 10,000 kids islandwide," he said.

"This programme will help to improve Jamaica's football over time," he continued.

"We (CAC) are not just concerned with developing a Messi or Ronaldo though, but we also want to create lasting social impacts rather than just an individual player," he said.

There are two other overseas coaches involved, former American national women's footballer Staci Wilson (1996 Olympic Games gold medallist) and Marc Anthony William.

A total of 50 coaches are expected at each location. The event began on Thursday at the Priory football field at Priory on Hope Road, St Andrew and continued there yesterday

It moves to St Elizabeth today, then to Montego Bay for Monday and Tuesdays' final legs.

Andre Virtue, coordinator for the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) grassroots programme and director of Ballaz International, noted that coaching is a big responsibility.

"We are not just teaching how to play the game, but how to be winners on and off the field," he underlined.

Virtue added that such exposure will make the way the game is played more effective.

The organiser's hope to achieve lasting social impacts, while imparting knowledge, skills and the expertise needed to excel.

Besides football, the CAC programme also seeks to help with conflict resolution, health and wellness, female empowerment and teaching life skills.

General manager of Spanish- Jamaica Foundation, Rebecca Tortello, lauded the second staging.

"We are thrilled to be expanding football for social impact methodology to coaches. It will facilitate problem-solving skills in our young footballers as they play the sport they love."

National women's player Alicia James described the event as important.

"This coach training will help us make the transition into coaching when we are ready," she said. James represented Jamaica at the Under-23 and senior levels.

- S.F.