During the week that Central FC retained its First Citizen’s Cup with a 1-0 victory over North East Stars, the Couva-based club announced its latest ground breaking event - a unified football training course, an event to be hosted in conjunction with Special Olympics TT.
It will run from Saturday to Monday at UWI (SPEC), St Augustine. The course is designed to introduce football coaches to the more specialised field of coaching special needs athletes.
“We always wanted Central FC to be a totally inclusive club and we felt that differently abled athletes were not given enough support,“ said Brent Sancho, former national footballer and managing director of Central FC.
“Some of the programmes that we would like to arrange will require specialised coaching and we discovered that there just isn’t enough of these coaches in T&T,” he added.
The course, which is a international Special Olympic mandate, will be partly classroom theory and training field practical coaching. The course is geared towards fostering an atmosphere of inclusion, rather than condescendingly treating certain athletes as “limited” or “special”.
“While we accept as a club that perhaps these footballers may never represent our senior team, maybe one day we can take a unified team overseas to play some matches. And, of course, everyone can be a Sharks supporter!” Sancho added.
He said that the original plan was to access a specialised coaching team from the English Premier League. But, one of the conditions of the visit was the provision of coaches versed in this specialised field.
”When we realised that there was a shortage of specialised coaches, we could have simply given up. But that’s not the Central FC way. We saw a need and decided to rectify it.”
There are a limited number of places available and anyone interested to joining the course, which is free of charge, can contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.