KINGSTON: The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) extended its efforts to improve football in Jamaica through talent-development programmes among youth, with the commencement of a football coaching clinic in Kingston at the Dunrobin playing field on Red Hills Road. The ongoing football coaching clinic targets youngsters in two age groups 8-15 years and 15-20 years. This is one of the many centres being established islandwide by the state agency, which is targeting 5,500 youth participants with a projected 65 per cent increase within a five-month period. The all-island coaching programme focuses on training young talent in the fundamental techniques of the game. A holistic approach is taken with a combination of development in fundamental techniques, tactical skills, and providing players with the proper nutrition needed for the physical exertion associated with the sport. INCREASE PLAYERS’ SKILLS The programme focuses on teaching the game and correct techniques, to increase the level of skill among players while preparing them for advancement to the professional level. At the new clinic’s first training session, the young boys were instructed on how to control with their feet, kick, pass, shoot, and tackle. Team-building exercises were also a prominent feature of the seminar and included an introduction to game tactics. “This is really what is needed to develop football at the community level,” remarked Ian Andrews, INSPORTS’ administrative director. “Training in the fundamentals of the game is vital to developing players who will make an impact on the field. It’s not just about passion and raw talent, but taking an integrated approach to instilling discipline, teamwork, training for endurance, while providing instructions about the technical aspects to the game and from an early stage,” he added. “This is really what will lead to significant improvements in the calibre of Jamaican footballers produced at the professional level.” The state agency’s efforts are geared towards creating coaching clinics for all sporting disciplines, in tandem with Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange’s stated philosophy of developing sports at the grass-roots level.
– renews calls for forensic auditWith questions recently raised over the food bill at the National Assembly, a Councillor is pressing for a forensic audit into the Georgetown as he fears that lack of accountability may be masking similar expenditures.In an interview with Guyana Times Councillor Bishram Kuppen expressed his concern over the spending at the Council, especially as he says that promised quarterly financial reports have not been presented.“It has always been a concern of mine for all the expenditures that the City Council had and whether those expenditures are actually beneficial to the people ofCity Hall Councillor Bishram KuppenGeorgetown. When I saw that food bill there from Parliament, I recalled in the beginning in the City Council there were these lavishes given out to Councillors and perhaps the staff also.”“Over a period of time they have scaled back,” he continued. “But the concern is still we don’t know what the food bill is or if the Council is buying food for the staff, whether breakfast or dinner in the morning. Because we don’t get any detailed financial statements.”According to Kuppen, both he and other members of the Council have requested these documents from the Town Clerk and the head of the Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke, through Mayor Patricia Chase Green.“There was one particular instance where the Town Clerk said, and his words were to the effect that the Finance Committee headed by Clarke, who has been there close to 20 years, approved expenditure for the City Council.”“At one of those meetings also, the Chairman had said if Council Kuppen wants toCity Hallsee details and a quarterly report, he would get it. That was years ago and I’ve never seen it. The Committee has failed to provide full disclosure of all the expenditure and all the contracts they have approved.”With that being said, the Councillor stressed the need for a revamp of the system coming out of Local Government Elections (LGE). According to Kuppen, LGE must be used as a catalyst to bring more accountability and transparency to City Hall.“I think the way the City Council has been run, it has been mismanaged. The only way for the situation to change is for a complete forensic audit. No matter who wins the Local Government Elections, the ground work must be set for a forensic audit so you can start from scratch.”“You can know what systems are there, where the loop holes are, if there were improprieties, if there were illegal activities. Just like what the President said when he launched forensic audits into the various Ministries. He said this was the way to reset things. So we do need to reset the system and hold those who are accountable for misuse of the funds, accountable to the law.”City HallEarlier this year, City Hall’s inability to account for monies by providing relevant documents had prompted Auditor General Deodat Sharma to announce that another audit would be carried out at the municipality.He had made it clear that approaches would be made to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers this time around, if City Hall continued to be non-cooperative with auditors.Last year, the AG’s attempts to conduct an audit were stymied by documents not being provided. According to Sharma at the time, there were a number of gaps that remained unfilled in the investigation.He had noted that as a result of these missing and sometimes even damaged documents, there would be a number of pages in the final report that would carry disclaimers. This is all despite City Hall being the ones who wrote to the Auditor General’s Office requesting an audit.It was at one time reported that during the final phase of the audit, the probe was stalled due to this lack of cooperation. Things had reportedly reached a point necessitating a letter to be sent to Town Clerk Royston King, over the undue delays being caused by City Hall officials not making the necessary documents available for the auditors.