Tapping into hidden talent

─ Football, Boxing coaches deployed to Siparuta

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, July 14, 2019

Two coaches are in the village of Siparuta for a one-week training camp. Former national footballer and hinterland coach, Gordon Brathwaite and Orlan ‘Pocket Rocket’ Rogers will share their expertise in football and boxing respectively with the residents of the community.

The deployment of the coaches in the Region 6 village was in response to a request made by the village council to Minister of Social Cohesion, with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Dr. George Norton.

Sherwin Felix, who is touted to be one of the best footballers in the village, said that he was thrilled to be a part of the training. “I am very excited because it will benefit everyone. The youths are very interested in sports and I am very happy… I will take the training seriously,” he said.

Suzika France was elated when she found out coaches will be visiting the village to train residents in the two sports disciplines. France immediately requested that Coach Braithwaite remains in the village for two weeks instead of one, as initially agreed. “I am so happy because the younger ones need help… I want to learn more about football because I have only been playing for two years now and I want to know more,” France stated.

Senior Councillor Kingsley Hudson said sport is one of the main ways they have been empowering and ensuring the young people are gainfully occupied.

Both coaches have high expectations from those persons who will be participating in the one-week camp.

Coach Brathwaite said he could not wait to get started. “They really love football and I am expecting to get a good reaction from them and that is what a coach wants.” Boxing coach Rogers was impressed by the interest displayed by the young women. “They are eager to come and train to be boxers… it is really competitive and that is great to know that young women will come out because if we have a large number of women, we know for sure when the amateur boxing association holds  a competition we will see real competitiveness among the women.”

During a visit to the community, Minister Norton indicated that the coaches are interested in working in the hinterland to identify talent.

“For us in Guyana to make an impact, we have to involve the best team and we can only get the best team if we give everyone a chance. This is the beginning. Persons in the football fraternity might not know of Siparuta but Siparuta has a lot of talent, the interest, the enthusiasm and they are dedicated,” he said.

Along with the minister and coaches, residents had the opportunity to meet and interact with Guyana’s lone Olympic medalist and boxer, Michael Parris.

Residents also received sport gear which included boxing gloves, a punching bag and footballs among others. On the first day, both male and female were anxious to get started with the training from both coaches.

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