The Trinidad and Tobago Football 7 Academy got off to a bright start as the official launch and first training session was held at the T&T Football 7 Academy base, Henry Street Recreation Ground in Trincity on Saturday evening.
Former National Team forward and Academy head coach Stern John and his assistant Walt Noreiga conducted an introductory one-hour training session with the early registered members. An exhibition Football 7 game followed with John and former T&T internationals Gary Glasgow, Anthony Sherwood, Darin Lewis and current T&T Under 20 player Kishun Seecharan among others appearing.
Minister of Sport, Senator Brent Sancho and Women’s Team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, ex-T&T midfielder Arnold Dwarika and former Minister Eddie Hart were also in attendance for the launch which was hosted by T&T Football 7 Academy founder Sham Mohammed and managing director Armis Mohammed.
Sancho commended Mohammed for his efforts in getting the Football 7 Academy off the ground.
“I remember back in about six months ago when I was first introduced to it back in Miami and to see it come to light here in Trinidad and Tobago, I think it’s a testament to the man, Sham Mohammed for actually bringing this together. He has a good team with him. From what I’ve seen here this evening it looks well organized, bringing a brand new version of the game to Trinidad and Tobago and we’re looking forward to some exciting times in terms of the football,” Sancho said.
“And of course my good friend Stern John being the coach, bringing to the set up a wealth of experience and knowledge in the game. The young people of Trinidad and Tobago truly have now something extra that can push them in the sport of football,” he added.
The former National defender said he was more pleased to see the T&T Football 7 Academy being fully self-sufficient through funding by its founder Mohammed.
“This is something I am really happy to see. This is one of the initiatives that I’ve spoken about really early. A lot of our governing bodies are solely dependent on government financing and here we have Mr Mohammed starting his own initiative and doing very well at that. This is something I hope can be duplicated in other forms of sport. This is something I definitely will support in my capacity as the Minister of Sport. It could be a module for other sports and other governing bodies to show the responsibility of an entity to become self-sufficient,” Sancho stated.
Academy managing director Armis Mohammed also expressed his satisfaction with the events of the Academy so far.
“It was a great experience and it turned out to be a lot more than we expected. The turnout was great. The kids seemed to enjoy everything. Stern was great as well along with the other coaches. I’m really excited to see how this progresses. This form of the game is something we can take internationally and use to help our local players as well. In football 7s, when you translate it to the bigger game, it can help us a lot,” Mohammed said.
Go here for Full Photo Gallery.
Sessions go into full swing this week between 5-7pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 8am-10am on Saturday. Interested persons can still register from 4:30 pm on each of the weekdays. Call 488-7001 or 485 7001 for further information.