A local football club will look to cater to the mentally challenged next month.
FC International will be hosting a one-day camp on 11 August. The camp will be held at the Lighthouse School in Red Bay exclusively for special needs children.
According to FC International President Kennedy Ebanks, the camp was a necessary endeavour in the growth of FC’s summer camps.
‘When we looked around we saw that there was a need for this. It was challenging because nobody had ever done a camp for them [handicapped children] before.
‘For someone [like us] to spend this kind of time with them is a first. To me, those kids are part of society. They can’t be left out.’
Summer Camp Technical Director Elbert McLean echoes Ebanks’ feelings.
‘Physical activity is important regardless of the child. I feel the amount of exercise those special needs children have is not adequate.
‘Our camp is going to be a fun camp for them. There will be simple drills and games with a chance for those kids to get a good workout.’
The camp will be run by McLean, who will work alongside a P.E. teacher from the Lighthouse school.
McLean says he feels confident about handling handicapped children.
‘I have a lot of experience dealing with kids. I feel I can handle any child. All kids have short attention spans so in the end patience is all it takes.’
The camp is one of several the football club will be hosting next month. The others will take place in various parts of Cayman.
All of the camps will be free of charge and open to boys and girls ages 6-16.
According to Ebanks, plans are already in place to make the special needs camp an annual event.
‘I know everyone will enjoy the camp. I want to do it again in the future.’
Current General Manager and former goalkeeper for FC International Fred Ebanks feels the camp can show special needs children they have a limitless future.
‘Football is part of the Special Olympics. Special needs children can play football. I feel our camp can let those kids see that their possibilities are endless.’
For more information, contact McLean at 925-7296 or FC International at 926-1993.