December 23, 2010
Football Festival surpasses expectations

A Youth Football Festival, an initiative of the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF), as part of its Grassroots Programme, has been hailed as a resounding success by the Football body’s General Secretary Ian Hypolite.{{more}}

The all-day festival, which took place last Saturday, involved over 450 young footballers, of both sexes, at the Arnos Vale Two Playing Field, in competitive matches. A developmental component of the activity was staged at the main arena, the Arnos Vale One.

Hypolite told SEARCHLIGHT that his assessment was based on the feedback from the parents and from an administrative stand point.

“It was good, it was well attended. The kids were enthusiastic, so, too, were the parents who showed up, and they (the parents) are clamouring for more like this,” Hypolite said.

“The parents are calling for one every three months,” the General Secretary added.

Participation came from several of the development zones and youth coaching cells which are encouraged and partly outfitted by the SVGFF.

Hypolite said that already, the next festival of this type will take place in March 2011, to coincide with a visit here of some FIFA officials.

Last Saturday’s festival also was a pre-launch of the secondary schools’ female Futsal Pilot Programme.

The Football Festival was funded through the FIFA, as well as local businesses, including the St. Vincent Brewery, which provided the refreshments.

Several of the zones were provided with balls, bibs and other Football gear by the Grassroots Programme.

Hypolite stated that the Grassroots Programme is mainly for developmental purposes, and “strives to bring together as many people as possible through exchanges and the sharing of human values by creating an environment that fosters relationships, team spirit and fun”.

Hypolite revealed that already some talents have been unearthed from last Saturday’s exercise.

He said that from the Grassroots Programme, a cadre of emerging talent will be identified and placed in an academy type setting, where the footballers will be schooled in the sport at weekend live-in camps at the SVGFF’s proposed Technical Centre at the Brighton Playing Field.(RT)