Freeport, Bahamas – History will be made at this year’s Sir Jack Hayward Grand Bahama Soccer Camp, now in its seventh highly-successful year.
It will feature the event’s first full-time professional female soccer coach. Her name is Sarah Green and she works for the London-based Football Association as part of its drive to take kids and turn them into international players of the future.
The camp’s 180 attendees split roughly equally between boys and girls but Sarah is at home coaching both and in fact leads mixed classes on a daily basis.
She follows a long line of top-line coaches the camp has attracted from the UK, the country where what is the world’s biggest sport was invented, including leading former international players and media experts as well as full timers. She will be working alongside Jamie Godbold who is returning after being lead coach for the last two years during which he has made himself a firm favourite with local children.
Jamie is currently nursing a broken jaw, sustained scoring a goal for his league-leading team, for whom he has been leading scorer for several years, but will be fully fit for the camp.
Sarah is already well-qualified but is also well on the way to completing the range of courses which will lead to her earning the highest level coaching license granted by EUFA, the international governing body for soccer. She is also a player, having turned out regularly for the ladies team of the famous UK pro soccer club Nottingham Forest as well as being assistant director of its girls’ centre of excellence. She still plays midfield for her local team.
Her 12-year career includes, as does Jamie’s, time spent coaching in the US but it will be her first visit to the Bahamas and she is very excited. Speaking this week from the city of Leicester, where she is currently working, she said: “I am really looking forward to working with the local coaches and the children. I am also really looking forward to relaxing on the beaches afterwards!”
The camp runs from June 21 until June 25 and as usual will be hosted by the Freeport Rugby Football Club on East Settlers Way, using the extensive playing and practice pitches. Organisers are expecting the usual turnout of almost 200 kids for many of whom it is the high point of the year.
The price is being held at $175 for the fourth year in a row, reflecting the tough times people are experiencing on the island. For that the youngsters get lunch, fruit morning and afternoon, six hours of coaching a day as well as lunchtime swimming for those whose who want a cooling dip, two full sets of uniforms, and a monogrammed camp T-shirt, making it the best value summer camp package – and about a third of the cost of similar events in the US. And any surplus is ploughed back into developing youth sport on the island.
Registration forms can be found on this website (link below) and are also available from Town and Country in Yellow Pine Street, Freeport, and Animale, at Port Lucaya. They can also be had by emailing [email protected]