Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Western youngsters benefit from Real Madrid clinic

Published:Tuesday | April 30, 2019 | 12:23 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Coach Carlos Gustavo Albert Garcia (left) of the Real Madrid Foundation conducting training drills with youngsters in western Jamaica at a football clinic in Negril at the weekend.
Coach Carlos Gustavo Albert Garcia (left) of the Real Madrid Foundation conducting training drills with youngsters in western Jamaica at a football clinic in Negril at the weekend.

Approximately 50 children, ages nine to 14 years from the parishes of St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland were the beneficiaries of a two-day football clinic which was held in Negril by the Real Madrid Foundation and the Sandals Foundation at the weekend.

The youngsters, drawn from schools across the parishes, were taken through physical, mental and technical drills under the guidance of world-famous coach, Carlos Gustavo Albert Garcia, of the Real Madrid Foundation in Spain. Garcia has been with the Spanish giants, Real Madrid, for 10 years and working with the Real Madrid Foundation for the last four years.

Selection criteria

“The selection of the kids was based on not just their abilities, but also their enthusiasm and so forth, and it gives them an opportunity to learn really from the world’s best at the Real Madrid Foundation academy,” Liz Kaiser, director of partnership marketing at Unique Vacations, said.

“The partnership between the Sandals Foundation and the Real Madrid Foundation started in the summer of 2018. It was a year in the making. It is important for us not only to bring this opportunity for international guests staying at our resorts but equally important to be able to involve local children because both the Sandals and Real Madrid foundations align so well, and share the same common goals of empowering youth through sports.”

Jervene Simpson, regional public relations manager at Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa, in outlining the areas from which the youngsters were drawn, said special emphasis was placed on getting participants from all over the region.

“We have a number of students from Cove, Rhodes Hall, Green Island, Dias, Cacoon, and then we go into Hopewell, some [ were]sent by the coaches and institutions from St James, then from Westmoreland all over, Orange Hill, Savanna-la-Mar, Llandilo, Negril, so we have pretty much covered the three parishes,” Simpson said.

The two-day clinic, which was the first to be staged under the partnership between the Sandals and Real Madrid foundations, was done complimentary for all the participants.

“We are going to take it (the clinic) to Turks and Caicos in January, where other resorts are located, and then we will also have two international clinics for guests, who are paying,” Kaiser explained.

“This one is open to the children complimentary. For us, it is really an opportunity to not only show them physically but also mentally, skills like confidence, teamwork and perseverance, and those skills will guide them through life.”