|Local companies and residents step up for a good cause|
|News - Sports|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012 08:20|
FREEPORT, Bahamas -- A group from the children's home and a record number of other worthy youngsters are going to enjoy this year's Sir Jack Hayward Soccer Camp thanks to the generosity of a large number of local businesses and individuals. Despite the tough economic times, organizers of the English Premier League-supported camp, which starts at Freeport Rugby Football Club next Monday, have had a really heartwarming response to their appeal for financial backing.
This event is in its eighth year in Grand Bahama and each time one of the key objectives has been to introduce the world's most popular sport to as many local children as possible whose parents cannot afford to pay the full fee. But the generosity of sponsors has been vital to realizing that vision. "They have enabled us to do things we otherwise could not afford," said Richard Malcolm, a member of the organizing committee.
" It is already an expensive business running a camp of this quality and we certainly don't want to compromise on the caliber of the coaching, key issues like safety, or even the tastiness of the food we serve up at lunchtime. Outside support is necessary to achieve all our objectives and it has been remarkable to see so many people respond positively when we have asked for help. We thank them all sincerely"
The young people from the children's home get full scholarships but lots of others are being charged a reduced attendance fee for the week which runs from June 25 to June 29. They will all receive top line tips from a group of three professional soccer coaches who are taking vacation from their full-time jobs with the Football Association in the UK to volunteer their services to Grand Bahama.
They will also get the camp package of two authentic sets of uniform, lunch and swimming every day, and fruit morning and afternoon. Each year the camp attracts large numbers of boys and girls between the ages of six and 16. It is usually very international with as many as 20 nationalities represented.
One of the lessons learned by parents has been the need to sign up before the camp week starts. Organizers have to estimate how many will attend when pre-ordering uniforms and the special camp t-shirt. "This is an imperfect science and therefore it is first come, first served on sizes," said Richard Malcolm. "We don't like to disappoint anyone but the only way to guarantee children get exactly what they want is for them to be pre-registered."
Uniform distribution for pre-registered children is this Saturday afternoon, June 23, at the rugby club between 2pm and 4pm. General registration is on Sunday afternoon between the same times. Youngsters can be pre-registered at Town and Country, Yellow Pine Street; Animale, Port Lucaya Marketplace; GB Trading in Explorers' Way; and at the rugby club in the evenings.
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