Football fun in Bodden Town

Those sitting in the stands of the Haig Bodden Sports Centre cheered eagerly for the players of both teams on the field. The spectators, like the players, are all youngsters participating in a summer camp organized by the Department of Sports and run by veteran coach Elbert McLean.

BT football camp 2“They really enjoy it a lot,” he told as we interviewed him during a scrimmage among campers on Friday, 12 August – the final day of the week-long event.

As many as 105 children, mainly from Bodden Town, turned out each morning for the camp.

“All week, we’ve been teaching the kids fundamentals, the basics of the game, teamwork and discipline,” Coach Elbert said. “The first thing we do in the morning is warm up, then we go into controlling, passing, dribbling, shooting and games.”

BT football camp 3McLean, who coaches Bodden Town Football Club, smiled continually at the delight the youngsters were having. He might also be smiling because there are benefits for his club as well.

“I use the summer camp to help build my youth teams – the Under-15 and Under-13 teams. That has been very effective over the past 10 years,” he said.

But while he takes something away from the camp, those who have benefited over the years are also encouraged to give back. For example, the 10 coaches who’ve joined him to teach the children about the beautiful game.

BT football camp 4“The coaches are pulled from my Under-17 programme. They are all Bodden Town [Football Club] players that are coaching. I told them that to improve their game, they have to give back something and this is where they started out from, too.”

We asked him if there were any special memories he’ll take from this year’s camp. “The smaller kids. They are so excited; they don’t worry about anything. They just want to play.”

The camp was one of several organized by the Department of Sports for the summer. A variety of sports, including basketball, netball, cricket and swimming were held along with football camps in various districts across Grand Cayman.

BT football camp 5

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