Four kids who do really well at this years’ Sir Jack Hayward soccer camp will be getting the Golden Boot Award – literally.
The last afternoon of the week-long event at the Freeport Rugby and Football Club will see the quartet who make the biggest contribution to the camp walking away with the key to brand new personalised golden soccer cleats.
They will be able imagine they are like Brazilian World Cup star Neymar who used to spray paint his boots gold when he was a teenager.
The boots will be part of a glittering array of prizes for this year’s camp. In addition to them there will also be 15 full-size gold balls given out as trophies to those youngsters who catch the eyes of the three pro coaches from the UK who will be leading all the fun and games.
They will be looking to reward the players who improved their games the most or impressed for their general all-round attitude to the coaching and their fellow campers.
The camp which has earned an enviable record for being the best value summer camp on Grand Bahama and for the world-class coaching it provides, begins in just six weeks (June 22). As usual it will run for five days from 9am to 3pm and will give everyone who takes part not just a memorable few days but two full soccer uniforms, lunch every day and the chance of a cooling swim as well as tips and practice routines aimed at improving their games.
Thousands of children have attended the camp in its 10-year history with some going on to win soccer scholarships at US colleges at least partly because of what they learned.
This year’s visitors are Lauren Phillips, who previously coached at the David Beckham Academy in London; James Lofthouse, who set out some current professional players in their careers including one international player; and Adrian Penrose, who has coached not just in the UK but also the US.
All are former players – Lauren is still playing in the ladies game – who retrained to become not just full-time coaches but specialists in teaching the game to children. They work for the sport’s governing body in the UK, The Football Association, as part of a grassroots programme to create a world-beating England side in the future. It will be the trio’s first-time in the Bahamas and they are very excited at the prospect.
“We know gold balls were a very popular prize at the camp two years ago but are sure the prospect of being able to wear gold boots with your own name on the sides next season will be a huge draw this year. They will add real value to what the camp already offers but no one can win them if they don’t sign up and now is the time to register,” said camp organiser Derek Archer.
Hopefully see you all this weekend.