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TTFA launches nationwide children community clinics

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical director Kendall Walkes and technical advisor Muhammad Isa have started a nationwide grassroots coaching clinic, which targets children in the under-8, under-11 and under-13 categories.

Photo: Former Chelsea midfielder Gareth Hall (background) offers shooting tips for children during a Tobago Legends training camp in Speyside, Tobago. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Chelsea midfielder Gareth Hall (background) offers shooting tips for children during a Tobago Legends training camp in Speyside, Tobago.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The clinics, which will operate over the next eight weeks, will offer “an introduction to the game, the philosophy of grassroots, basic techniques, example exercises and small sided games” for young participants.

Each zone will host one session per week with one hour for each age group. Walkes and Isa will be assisted by other unspecified coaches for the TTFA project.

The venues selected are: Hugo Francis Recreational ground, Woodford Park (Central), Ojoe Road Recreation Ground, Sangre Grande (Eastern Counties), Lumsden Ground, Gasparillo (South), Constantine Park (East), Nelson Mandela Park (North) and a still undetermined venue in Tobago.

The timetable is: 5 to 6 pm (under-8), 6 to 7 pm (under-11) and 7 to 8 pm (under-13).

Photo: Two young players show their stuff during a British Airways Tobago Football Legends camp at the Speyside Recreation Grounds, Tobago. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Two young players show their stuff during a British Airways Tobago Football Legends camp at the Speyside Recreation Grounds, Tobago.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“Improving our young players technically is one challenge but contributing to a youngster’s personal development is also a fundamental goal,” stated TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, via a press release, “and that is among the major objectives of the association.

“Grassroots football’s potential role as an educational, social vehicle cannot be underestimated. We believe it needs to be promoted for the benefit of young people, society and the game itself.”

Children and parents can get more information by calling 685-7968 or 687-7652.

The schedule for the grassroots clinic is as follows:

Central:

Hugo Francis Recreational ground, Woodford Park (Mondays);

Eastern Counties:

Ojoe Road Recreation Ground, Sangre Grande (Tuesdays);

South:

Lumsden Ground, Gasparillo (Wednesdays);

East:

Constantine Park, Macoya (Thursdays);

North:

Nelson Mandela Park, St Clair (Fridays);

Tobago:

Venue to be determined (Saturdays);

Training sessions are scheduled as follows: 5 to 6 pm (under-8), 6 to 7 pm (under-11) and 7 to 8 pm (under-13).

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35 comments

  1. i hope they have competent people ,as the saying goes ‘a player can spoil a team,but a coach can spoil a generation’

  2. I totally agree Joan Layne names carry a perception with them i never liked the word grassroots,lol

  3. Hannibal Najjar

    Anything is better than nothing! Sustenance, consistently true and near-equal (is it the same persons and processes) assessment and evaluations, record-keeping and feedback, and connectivity to attendees’ schools and clubs, present the key to the “worthwhileness” of any such efforts.

  4. Then again, imagine my son in Cedros coming Lumsden for an hour session…hmmm. Would you ? I know in other countries you gotta travel miles for tournaments and camps but this is Trinidad. Let’s hope it’s managed properly…most importantly. Management and administration is probably where we keep falling short. Savitri

  5. But then if they approached the clubs, not all would want to buy into the idea. Then too it’s a lot of smaller clubs and camps to visit. TTFA may not have the human resource to visit so many clubs.

  6. Not a bad initiative Savitri it’s only an hour per week though but it’s a start in the right direction. Let us hope it comes off.

    • An hour per week you say eh. My point was the TTFA could’ve delegated some of this to the zones and get them to assist on a community level, using your club as an example.

    • I think it might be an issue of resources. Three days of training per week in each zone is much better. But can they give coaches even a stipend for their time?
      So far the turnouts have been very poor I understand. One can only hope it does some good.

      • Common sense should have informed them that this is the vacation period. Children play or attend lessons. After that, it is early bedtime. And one hour? No. Try something that doesn’t sound like a publicly gimmick..

    • Further reinforces your point Savitri. Late start factoring turnout ? Maybe approaching the clubs and offering assistance would have been a better idea. Have workshops with coaches, and help clubs. But you know Trinis…just doing we own thing right thru…

    • I don’t like to shoot dpwn ideas and initiatives too early until I see it work a little, a small part of me is still optimistic and hoping one day we’ll get it right. Early days yet, let’s be patient.

    • Oh gosh Kirwin, I not shooting down ideas, but why re-invent the wheel eh? Football clubs running camps all over the world, even on sunday mornings

    • Lol, leh we see. Yuh know we limping already. And not amidst the brightest bunch

  7. This is a good start but the use of the word “grassroots” is not necessary. Just make sure the persons who are involved have the basics correct and all will be well.

  8. Was never a fan of Oliver Camps. Jack’s little side kick.

  9. It’s no coincidence talent isn’t being scouted well in TT …. There is no platform for exposure …. This as small as it is creates one …..

  10. LOL!!!! My word…. amazing, really… How much they must be paying him for this? siggghh.

  11. Debbie Espinal, Trinidad and Tobago football was actually founded on little centers of excellences called the zonal teams that went from under-14 straight up to senior.
    That was in place in the 1980s when our football was a hotbed of talent.
    For whatever reason, it was disbanded during Oliver Camps’ tenure as president.

  12. Roneil Walcott

    Why not in the daytime?

  13. I’ve always wondered why these programs haven’t been put in place years ago in TnT especially as we’re a footballing nation and countries like Canada have. My great Nephews are now excelling in these same programs up North. I’ve been to so many of their “soccer” games when i visit and there are so many leagues from as young as 5 and yet we’re lagging behind. I wish the Ministry of Sport will encourage this in the very near future.

  14. I complied databases for two yrs but nothing came out of it. Republic Cup was used & players were selected by TTFA assessors, referees & match stats. I soon realized youth teams don’t bring money so it remained 40 names on a piece of paper.

  15. Although it isn’t really a little league. This is just one hour a week.
    But I suppose it is a start. Hopefully they will build a database if they see any really promising talent. And hopefully they will offer advice to players and parents, which might be more valuable than the hour spent.

  16. About time. These little leagues have been going on in Canada since my Nephew was 6 and he’s now 41.

  17. So this is what my foreign base Technical Director was hired to do eh. Them really good yes.

  18. It is interesting to see if the ministry of sport and sportt will have their clinics as well. It is a smart move for both the “worst” min of sport” and the “worst” ttfa prez to get elected. It might not be good to know that this may not lead to anything long term since they both might end up duplicating resources with the same money. Nicholas Lochan can prepare a database of all the same kids who might be participating in the same program this year for you mr.live.