Director of the Brewster Trust, Axel Bernhardt, chatting with pupils of the Maria Holder Nursery School following a presentation of footballs in September 2011. (FP)????

Nine schools on the island will have a chance to improve their techniques in the game of football while remaining focused on the academics, this school year.

This is when the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, in collaboration with the Brewster Trust, pilots a football programme in select primary and secondary schools from January 30, until the end of the academic year.

The targeted schools are Lester Vaughan Secondary, Parkinson Memorial, St. Leonard’s Boys’, Alma Parris Secondary, Christ Church Foundation, Milton Lynch Primary School, Mount Tabor Primary, Workmans Primary and Eden Lodge Primary.??

The Brewster Trust will work with Arsenal, a famous British Football Club, to provide the necessary training for the football programme which aims, among other things, to raise the students’ self-esteem and morale; build confidence among children and promote discipline, respect, fair play and sportsmanship.

It further aims to teach young members of the community how to coach football, develop the football skills of young players, while giving them tournament specific and general organisation skills.

According to Director of the Brewster Trust, Axel Bernhardt, the pilot football programme is two-fold in nature. One area is called the Double Club, a scheme which fuses football with learning.??The general idea of this component is to improve literacy skills for 45 minutes in the classroom, followed by a 45-minute football coaching session. It incorporates a wide portfolio of academic subjects including science, healthy living, modern languages and geography.

The other aspect is the Gap Year Programme that involves the coaches or Gappers, as they are called, spending four months based at Arsenal Football Club and assisting with a variety of the Club’s sport and education programmes. These coaches will then be integrated into the schools and will spend three months or more coaching football, as well as running coaching clinics at both primary and secondary schools.??

Following the end of the pilot, organisers will try to meet the demands of each school and with a review of its components, it is anticipated that other schools would be able to participate.??

The Brewster Trust is a registered charity that was founded here in Barbados on April 22, 2010.


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