Football program a blessing for Marchand

Youngsters, officials and parents at the opening of the football program. Emily Remy is the fifth person from the left seated in the front row followed by Parliamentary Representative, Phillip J Pierre; Sports Personality, Joseph “Reds” Perreira; former national footballer and cricketer, Rupert Polius; Principle Marchand Combined School, Shirley Lubin; SLFA Technical Director, Ces Pod and SLFA Vice President, Lyndon Cooper.

It’s natural to see an athlete passionate about their sport, but having a volunteer demonstrate that trait along with determination and heartfelt emotion, one could do nothing but stand up and applaud.
That’s what happened last Wednesday at Mindoo Phillip Park, when Emily Remy who teaches at the Marchand Combined School and is an Assistant Coach for the National Under-20 Women’s Football Team,  pleaded her case before officials and sponsors, in hopes of getting support for a free football program for children under 12 in the area.
In his opening remarks Schools Curriculum officer, Michael “Midget” Pierre complimented the young footballers and their parents for showing up, especially when rain was the order of the day.
After being introduced, Remy, who is from a football family, spoke proudly about Marchand and referred to it as the “city’s capital.” She mentioned its rich
sporting heritage particularly when it comes to football.
Rich as it is when it comes to sportsmen and women, the “city’s capital” like everywhere else does have its poverty stricken families. Remy who was born in Marchand, broke down while mentioning the plight of some youngsters living there, who do not have the right equipment, or sporting gear needed to play football.
Fighting back tears she said: “Some children play barefooted and its heartbreaking to see them play or tap dance on the hot ground.”
Remy thanked sponsors for their contribution towards the program and feels if given the opportunity the participants will excel.
She said: “We have persons if given the opportunity they will go far. We have students who are intelligent and can make it to college, but because they cannot afford it they do not have the chance to do so.”
It was dubbed an Easter Program, however, if Remy and her colleague/assistant Sylvia get their way it is here to stay.
Delroy Alexander of the Sacred Cows Foundation, who assists the St Lucia Football Association (SLFA) with a number of programs, pledged his support for this initiative by these two young caring teachers.
He said: “We are here today to give our commitment, to say we are really going to go beyond the pail to make sure this is a flagship program. What you see now is the very beginning of a concerted effort to really reach out, not only to yourself but to all the youth in this community.”
Vice President of the SLFA, Lyndon Cooper, also pledged the association’s support and on this day supplied a kit, equipment, technical assistance and lunch.
Parliamentary Representative, Phillip J Pierre, told the participants to be proud of the community they live in and should not feel they are lesser individuals because they don’t live north of the Chaussee Road.
While admitting that some of them may not grow up in an ideal situation, Pierre said: “Be smart, use your skills and do not feel sorry for yourself. Never feel sorry for yourself because once you feel sorry for yourself you end up with problems.”
He emphasized that point over and over again and told them: “If you do that, you can fight and deal with any adversity and furthermore, love yourself and love the people who assist you.”
Sports personality and well known Cricket Commentator, Joseph “Reds” Perreira, who was also present at the opening also gave the young participants a pep talk.

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