The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

The Dig­i­cel Kick­start Academy is set to be­gin in Ja­maica on Sun­day 26th Oc­to­ber at Sabina Park, where the best foot­balling tal­ent that the re­gion has to of­fer will be on dis­play and will un­dergo a week of in­tense train­ing un­der the guid­ance of the coaches from the Chelsea FC Foun­da­tion.

The Academy trains th­ese as­pir­ing young play­ers not only by de­vel­op­ing their skills on the pitch, but also teach­ing them valu­able skills and at­tributes – such as team work and re­spect – which will help to im­prove them as play­ers and as in­di­vid­u­als.

The Kick­start pro­gramme has helped thou­sands of play­ers from the Caribbean and Cen­tral Amer­ica over the last eight years and has seen a num­ber of them go­ing on to rep­re­sent their schools, com­mu­ni­ties and their coun­tries on an in­ter­na­tional stage.

Most no­tably, last year’s Academy MVP and Jamaican school­boy foot­ball star, Ca­dine Gra­ham, re­ceived a schol­ar­ship to at­tend the Univer­sity of the West Indies, Cave Hill cam­pus in Bar­ba­dos, as a re­sult of be­ing scouted while at the Dig­i­cel Academy. His suc­cess is tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity train­ing and guid­ance pro­vided by the coach­ing team from the Chelsea FC Foun­da­tion – led by Se­nior In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer, David Monk, who said: “We are ex­tremely proud of Ca­dine and have high hopes for his fu­ture suc­cess. The Kick­start pro­gramme and the Academy have been in­te­gral in the de­vel­op­ment of many play­ers across the Caribbean and Cen­tral Amer­ica – from the grass­roots level up­ward – and the Chelsea FC Foun­da­tion is de­lighted to be a part of such a unique ini­tia­tive that im­pacts so many play­ers in the re­gion. Through the Kick­start pro­gramme we are en­sur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the next gen­er­a­tion of foot­ball play­ers across the Caribbean and Cen­tral Amer­ica will ben­e­fit from the best train­ing pos­si­ble.”

With the Academy be­ing held in Ja­maica this year, the level of tal­ent and ex­cite­ment is sure to con­tinue as Sabina Park will be host­ing top class foot­balling tal­ent next week.

Dig­i­cel Ja­maica CEO, Barry O’Brien, ex­pressed his ex­cite­ment when he said; “With­out a doubt the re­gion has pro­duced, and con­tin­ues to pro­duce, some of the best foot­ballers – as is ev­i­dent with so many of them play­ing in the top leagues around the world. Dig­i­cel is happy to support th­ese as­pir­ing young play­ers as they em­bark on a jour­ney to be­com­ing the best that they can be – both on and off the pitch. Our part­ner­ship with Chelsea FC Foun­da­tion is en­sur­ing that they re­ceive the best coach­ing avail­able and we hope the boys will not only train hard, but have fun do­ing so.”

The Dig­i­cel Kick­start Academy be­gins on Sun­day 26th Oc­to­ber and ends on Satur­day 1st Novem­ber with a match be­tween the Academy play­ers and the Ja­maica Na­tional U-16 team.

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