Sun, Jul

Naps to present Nike Training Camp

DANNY’S ENTERPRISES, in collaboration with Explosion de Campeones and retaining Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) champions, Naparima College, exclusively presents the pilot stage of a unique Nike Elite Training Camp at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, from April 6-7.

This special grassroots initiative is the culmination of several months of discussions and planning by the Naparima College Association of Past Students (NAPS) and several enthusiasts within Central America and the Caribbean. 

The two-day Nike Soccer Camp will see 100 selected kids undergo a host of football challenges and sessions followed by a computerised evaluation process. 

Naparima College, who seized this rare opportunity to play host of the inaugural camp, will be given first preference to supply 40 kids from their institution. 

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), David John-Williams, welcomed the programme with open arms and has committed 20 kids from TT Pro League clubs to also join in on this venture.

The remaining 40 will be chosen from primary schools within the San Fernando area, via admissions from their respective principals. 

Michael Bookbinder, who works for Northbay International (Nike’s distributor), has over 16 years of sales experience in this region, with approximately 13 years as the Nike sales rep in Jamaica and nine thus far, in Trinidad. 

For the last two years, he has been working in marketing in the Dominican Republic with an artist to promote the brand and to connect with young consumers.

“This year we started a new initiative which is centred around grassroots based on soccer (football),” he explained. 

“I had the business opportunity to basically create this project which is a Nike Soccer Camp. Nike has an elite training system called Elite Training which will provide soccer challenges for the youngsters, for which they are then evaluated. 

We then give them a score and at the end of the two days they will have a computer read out of their performance.” Moving forward, Bookbinder said that they are trying to project three camps every year in each desired country, so the kids on the future camps can compare how they’ve progressed. He revealed that the connection between himself and the Naparima College Old Boys Association was made through business in Panama. 

While speaking to a former ‘Naps’ man about his idea, bit by bit their plans began to materialise and the opening stage of the camp in April was set. 

Percy Samlalsingh, president of NAPS and manager of the achieved school’s cricket and football teams, heaped praises on Bookbinder for his incredible foresight. 

“It’s the first time this is being hosted in Trinidad and definitely not the last,” he said. “The alumni have come on board and lent strong support. 

This is a special camp and we want to give back to the community as well. We intend for this to grow because there are so many dimensions to this camp. It’s a family feeling with Naps. I’m seeing this project improving every year. Just like Nike and Naparima College.” The two sessions (April 6-7) are expected to run from 8am to 4pm each day.