The Atlantic Football Weekend was held at the Queen’s Royal College (QRC) Grounds this weekend (Fri Dec 15 – Sun Dec 17). The event brought together two initiatives sponsored by Atlantic: the Atlantic Football and Life Skills Development Camp and the Atlantic Coaching Excellence Programme (ACE).
The Atlantic Football and Life Skills Development Camp is held every year since 2010 for the top 50 players in the Atlantic National Primary Schools Football League. The boys and girls receive specialized training from two coaches from the Manchester United Football Academy: Eamon Mulvey (head coach) and Kevin Ward. This year, Eamon and Kevin were joined by the legendary Brian McClair, former Manchester United player and one-time Director of the Manchester United Football Academy.
Some of the Camp’s focus is on technical skills, but a key emphasis is on ensuring that the children learn some of the skills necessary to be successful in life. These life skill sessions are conducted by officials of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC). The camp also aims to help the children adopt some of the values that will serve them well throughout life: values such as teamwork, discipline, integrity, fair play.
This year, one of the camp’s highlight messages was “Live Fair, Play Fair”, a message Atlantic believes essential for young children to understand. Atlantic believes that sport is one of the best ways through which thousands of children can be inspired to embrace fair play and other positive values.
The Atlantic Coaching Excellence Programme (ACE) was established in 2012 and aims to certify primary schools cricket and football coaches to international standards. To date over 400 cricket coaches and over 300 football coaches have been trained and certified. This year, the Football Certification seminar was also held at QRC. Twenty-four (24) coaches were trained and certified by Coach Educator and FIFA Instructor, Marlon Charles. The coaches also underwent some training time with the Manchester United coaches.
On Sunday Dec 17, the children participating in the Football and Life Skills Development Camp treated their family and friends to a display of their newly honed technical skills. The players took part in Exhibition Games against some of their peers in the Atlantic National Primary Schools Football League. On hand to cheer them on were Atlantic CEO Nigel Darlow and Atlantic Sports Ambassadors Merissa Aguilleira and Keshorn Walcott.