Football - New Academy to set Seychelles’ football on the right course | 09 August 2019
Playing sports is a great way to boost physical fitness in children, as most sports help kids to understand the capabilities of their body and allow them to develop their motor skills.
These are skills that can be transferred for use in everyday life.
This is exactly what ex-footballer Che Dorasamy is bringing to the table through his football academy, baptised the ‘All Star Youth Academy’.
Other than the fun part, the academy is also paving the way for the future generation of footballers, by instilling in them the basics of the sport, both in terms of techniques and discipline.
Backed by a solid crew of seasoned players, who later turned into successful coaches, Che is certain that the project is on the right track and will become a huge success in the future, now that it is being spread to the inner islands.
The coaching team is headed by veteran coach Gerris César who was a local star in his playing days and as a coach he brought home the country’s first gold medal in football at the 1993 Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l'Océan Indien (CJSOI) tournament in Madagascar.
Another brain behind the training programme is ex-St Louis and Seychelles international striker Bernard Dorasamy who is also bringing his knowhow to the project.
With both César and Dorasamy being experienced physical education teachers, it brings an additional boost to the academy in terms of respect and discipline since they have the accumulated knowledge of dealing with children.
The other coaches involved are Marc Mathiot, Vincent ‘Tolor’ Dorasamy and Basil Alcindor.
On Praslin, the academy’s programme is being run by Pierre Pharabeau, while on La Digue, it is ex-national team goalkeeper Vincent Euphrasie, winner of the Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) gold medal in 2011 on home soil after stopping a spot kick, who is running the programme.
According to Che, on Mahé alone the academy is catering for 110 kids, while more are showing an interest to join.
The registration fee is R500 and it covers for two sets of uniform, bibs, water bottles and training bags, while the monthly fee is R200.
The academy however adopts a free-membership policy for orphans and less fortunate kids.
The training varies according to age groups, precisely 7-8 years old, 9-10 years old and 11-12 years old.
Che explained that the idea behind the project was first and foremost to create a platform for the children, allowing them to engage in sports activities, instead of getting trapped by social ills which are presently invading the country.
He noted that he was positive from day one, even if other people were not really convinced that the project would succeed, let alone work.
Other than a recreational activity, Che added that the academy is also a stepping stone for future footballers as they are taught the right basics which will enable them to build on if ever they are to have a football career.
Regarding sponsors, Che said he received some help from several individuals, but he has not made any formal request since he wants to set up everything first, so that potential sponsors can see and assess for themselves whether it is worth to join the programme.
He also explained that in terms of sponsors, he is not really into taking money, but rather wants the different companies to step in as sponsors for different competitions.
“I do not want a company just to hand in some cash, but rather to be a permanent partner by sponsoring a competition every now and then,” he noted.
He further added that by becoming a partner, the companies and potential sponsors would be more directly involved and will see and understand the idea and concept behind the project.
Advantages of joining the All Star Youth Academy
Communication skills – Being part of a team should help children improve their communication skills. Teammates must be able to communicate with each other effectively if they want to work well together.
Being with a lot of different people, including coaches and sports officials, can help your child to learn how to adapt their style of communication to match the person who they are talking to. This transferable skill is one which is essential in everyday life.
Increased responsibility – Children who are involved in team sports learn a lot about how their actions affect the rest of the team. If they choose not to practice when they are involved in an individual sport, it is only their chances that suffer. On the other hand, if they decide not to practice when they are part of a team, then the whole team could be affected by their actions.
Children are more likely to continue playing a sport when they have a social network behind them, because they have a responsibility to others and others have a responsibility to them.
Cooperation – Being part of a team helps children to learn how to cooperate with one another. In order for a team to work effectively, they must be able to work together. If one player goes for glory, then they may jeopardise the chances of other players. Children in teams quickly learn that they are most successful when they develop a team mentality and cooperate with one another. They will soon learn that the mantra “There’s no ‘I’ in team” is a very valuable thing.
Patience – Being part of a large sports group can help to teach children the importance of patience. This can be really valuable if your child does not have any siblings living at home with them. Many of the practice drills which are completed during sports club sessions require participants to wait their turn while other participants are having their go. Drills like these often require the participant to spring into action suddenly when their turn comes around. The waiting period can therefore be used for quiet reflection or consideration of how to perform the action successfully.
Leadership skills – The empathy that children learn when they play team sports can also help them to support other players to learn the new skill. This can help to form the basis of leadership skills for the future.
Most youth sports clubs will also give their participants the opportunity to develop these leadership skills further. A different leader is often chosen each week, so that each member has the opportunity to learn about what it is like to be in charge of a group.
Problem-solving – Most sports involve some sort of problem-solving aspect, but team sports often require more problem-solving than individual sports do. This is because there are more unknowns in team sports, when you are forced to consider the actions of all of your team members as well as the actions of all of the opposing team members. Children are forced to look at things in a very analytical fashion if they want to come up with a successful solution.
A sense of belonging – Social team sports also help children to find a sense of belonging and build social capital with other people around them. This sense of belonging can help children to feel wanted and included, even if they have very little in common with the other players on their team. Some sports teams even organise social activities outside of their normal sporting time, so that the team can continue to develop their sense of belonging. This can actually help improve the sporting dynamic of the group.