Summer campers learned a little more than football at the FC International Football Camp on Wednesday.
Police Inspector Ian Yearwood from the Police Traffic Department educated youngsters on becoming law abiding citizens, with the view that it’s never too early to promote the message about safety on local roads.
“Today, I will discuss with you driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding and tinted car windows,” Inspector Yearwood told the assembled crowd of children, who ranged in age from 5 to 16.
When he said he knew they were wondering why he wanted to talk to them about road safety, one youngster shouted out: “I know, you mean about crashing.”
More than 50 kids attended the free football camp at The Annex playing field in George Town.
Inspector Yearwood told them, “I want to share this message with you because you need to know. We have three islands, and for such a small place, we have lots and lots of accidents, too [many] accidents, and some of these accidents can be avoided. Alcohol and driving should not be mixed.”
Inspector Yearwood also instructed the youngsters in the use of police radar guns and how alcohol affects drivers’ abilities to respond quickly in the event of an accident.
For the next three days, the campers will learn sports strategies, as well as personal development, discipline, teamwork and cooperation. Youngsters of varying skill levels have been turning out since Monday for the camp, which is free of charge for participants.
FC International Football Camp has been hosted islandwide since 1994. The camps help develop fundamental skills and discipline in the sport, organizers said.
FC’s assistant coach Melicia Andrews, who has been involved with the program for three years, said she is seeing more youngsters participate in the camps.
“The youngsters are definitely interested. A few of have even joined football clubs,” she said.
The camp also gives them the opportunity to form lifelong friendships and bonds with coaches while learning the game, she said, adding: “For me, it provides a positive future and keeps me fit.”
In addition to supporting young athletes, FC International has provided training and advancement opportunities for many volunteer coaches known as “junior coaches.”
Ms. Andrews is one of these coaches.
Finding a seat for his two boys, parent Nikol Pearson said his participation in football camps and the positive experience he had received were his reasons for enrolling his two boys.
Coaches said since the inception of the camp, it has been attracting more and more youngsters each year.
FC International President Kennedy Ebanks thanked the camp’s sponsors, saying: “Most camps, you have to pay but we do ours totally free with the help of sponsorship from individuals, businesses, government and anyone else that’s willing to give.”