On the ball
In just one year the Mavericks Sports Club is making significant strides.
Barbados Today paid a visit to the camp at the Lester Vaughan School today where several young boys and girls were busy going through their paces under the watchful eyes of head coach Arnold Brathwaite, coach Dane Alleyne and visiting former Cameroon international and coach Hermann Kingue, as well as club directors Neil Matthews, Adrian Mapp and Raphael Holder.
The youngsters were engaged in shooting and tackling drills, dribbling, and a match simulation. The muddy conditions caused by early morning showers did not put a damper on the enthusiasm of the participants who were of both primary and secondary school age.
Holder told Barbados TODAY though the club primarily dealt with football, there was also a netball component. He added that Mavericks was not only about sporting activity but that the directors of the club ensured that a holistic programme was available to the youngsters to develop them as rounded individuals.
“We also engage in community social work and provide lessons for them on weekends,” Brathwaite said, adding the club filled a void by focusing on young people between the ages of four and 17 and nurturing their positive development.He explained the club was not presently providing scholarships – something which was a possibility further on the horizon – but added that along with football, the Mavericks Sports Club provided valuable life lessons.
The club, which currently caters to about 130 youngsters, has been involved in first aid programmes as well as visiting senior citizens homes to provide Christmas cheer. The club has also been involved in cancer walks.
Holder revealed that the club had developed a relationship with Canadian football counterparts and had visited that country in July for an international youth football tournament. He said there were plans to expand the club’s scope in 2013 with exchange programmes with their Canadian colleagues on the agenda to enhance the skills of coaches and players.
He noted that Mavericks Club was looking to bring an Under-16 Canadian football team to Barbados next year.
The current year has been an excellent one for the club.After a mere five months in existence, the club’s Under-15 team entered the Banks Youth Football Tournament and captured second position, while the U-17 team finished fifth in their division. Two women’s teams have been showing much promise in the Women’s League.
Coach Brathwaite said the youngsters were responding well to the training and were all highly disciplined. He said some children already played at the junior and secondary school levels, and others were now getting into the rudiments of the sport. Kingue, a Cameroon national player between 1982 and 1990 and who not only played World Cup football but was also part of his country’s African Cup Championship winning team, told Barbados TODAY that he brought the same level of professionalism to coaching as he had done during his playing days.
He added that what really impressed him about the youngsters was their discipline and receptiveness to hard work.
“I really work them and they do not complain. They never try to avoid the work that they are given and they are always willing to get out there on the field and try,” he said.
Kingue explained that the skills and temperament required at the professional level were things which players had to develop at an early age. He said those who wanted to make football a career had to be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to dedicate their time, mind and bodies to improve their game and to keep striving to get better each time they went onto the field. Kingue, based in Canada, is on a one-week training stint with the club. (WG)