The Sandals Foundation has partnered with the Trevor Daniel Football Development Programme to launch a coaching initiative specifically geared to St. Lucia’s aspiring girl footballers.
The programme – Kick It Destiny –is the brain child of FIFA Certified coach Trevor Daniel and aims at increasing the reach and development of young female football players throughout the island.
For over 20 years the Trevor Daniel Football Development Programme has been instrumental in developing young players in St. Lucia – many of whom have gone on to earn national selection. Now, in 2020, the Sandals Foundation has come on board to join in developing a rich pool of talent positioned for international competitions such as World Cup and Olympic qualifications.
Daniel says the Kick It Destiny project plans on leaving no girl behind.
“We know that there are many talented, athletic potential stars that are not part of an academy either through finances, time or other circumstances. This exciting new initiative will help ensure each girl gets the opportunity she deserves.”
Kick It Destiny, was launched in May 2019 and targets girls of grades two to five from 14 primary schools. The programme, Daniel notes, now has a consistent presence of 110 enthusiastic players all set to learn from a training curriculum specially designed with the needs of girls in mind.
“Our curriculum is tailored to teach football to girls in a manner that will get them interested, keep them excited about training and most importantly develop skills required to excel at the sport”.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s programme, Sunil Ramdeen, Sandals Regional Public Relations Manager for the Eastern Caribbean, says the organization was pleased to be part of this,“invaluable programme, which is investing not only in the lives of its participants but the sustainable development of the sport on a national level.”
This programme has the potential to impact far beyond its reach in more ways than one;Ramdeen notes, “sports programmes are a primary tool to develop life-long skills in team work, discipline and confidence in the lives of youth. When you add that to the pool of talent which will be created inthe female football arena, the future looks bright for St. Lucia and its position on the world stage.”
Ramdeen reaffirmed the commitment of the Sandals Foundation to invest in grassroots initiatives geared at enhancing the skills of young sports men and women.
“For many years, we have provided support for our young male footballers, and it was always a burning desire to ensure that our young female athletes had equal opportunities to access the training and guidance needed if they too want to make football a career.Now, our young female footballers will have the opportunities that only their male counterparts have previously enjoyed.”
Over a 9-month period, FIFA certified coaches will conduct 30-60-minute lunchtime and extracurricular sessions with the young talents exposing them to football games and activities and closely monitor potential stars. One hundred and twenty participants who show promise and have the desire or passion to play football at the club, district, college, national or professional levels will be selected for a scholarship to train with the Academy to hone those skills in a weekend and after school programme.
The Sandals Foundation has donated close to USD $11,000 to cover the cost of the coaches, transportation, supplies, equipment, shirts and certificates for the programme.