The coaches and instructors of the inaugural CONCACAF C License Coaching Course pose for the official photograph yesterday at the University of the West Indies’ Usain Bolt Sports Complex.

Barbados pioneers CONCACAF C License


After receiving their first CONCACAF D License Coaches course back in 2014, 30 local coaches have begun their journey to the next level as the first-ever CONCACAF C License course got off the ground yesterday. 
Set to run for just over a week, Barbados has been selected for the pilot project for the programme as no other territory under the CONCACAF banner has had a C License course delivered.
With CONCACAF launching their coaching education programme in July of 2014, Barbados has since had three D License courses with the first being delivered in October of 2014. Now, the ‘Gem of the Caribbean’ is the envy of all CONCACAF territories as the Barbados Football Association plays host to the first C License course rolled out. Thirty-one participants, 30 males and one female, are set to go down in history as the first persons to take on the programme which is geared towards players aged 13-19.
Speaking during the opening ceremony held yesterday at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex, where the course is being run for the first few days, Coaches Instructor, Neal Ellis stated that it was a historic time for the participants and he hoped that they made the most of it. 
“I think that when you guys look back 10 years from now, you’re going to have license number 01, 01, 03, 04 when we are in the 10 000s. You are going to look back and see that you were one of the first ones to take this course. And it’s exciting for us to be here because we can set the standard from this point forward for what the CONCACAF License programme means to each country. I think we need to find a way to separate ourselves to show that this is the standard,” he said. 
Giving fair warning that the course was not going to be easy, Ellis added that he expected big things from the island as they were first out of the blocks. 
“We are going to push you, we are going to challenge you throughout the nine days and I hope that you will do the same with us. It is not just listening and saying ‘yes’. It is challenging us with your ideas, with your methodology because you guys are going to be the ones to go back out there and make a difference. Those are the things that we are hoping to leave you with. To give you the power to go back and do what is right for these kids and hopefully we can get a World Cup team out of this small little island.”  
Lenny Lake, also a Coaches Instructor, has special relationship with the island and some of the candidates as he has delivered the D License in Barbados. Due to his familiarity, Lake said that he expected only the best from the crop. 
“I know that, if not all of you, most of you will do well. I have seen it in the D License and what I have seen is not just your ability to come and sit, but your ability to transform yourself after you get the information to get better. Every group that I have worked with when I was here, they have showed that. They start out struggling and by the fourth day, there is a transformation,” he said, before adding that he expected the coaches to leave a legacy. 
“My advice would be to think about what you did in the past and go back to it. Be confident about what you can do. We are here to help you. Don’t burden or pressure yourself. In closing, just set the standard. The Caribbean needs it. We need great coaches. Let it begin with you,” Lake said.
President of the BFA (ag) Captain Al Walcott was on-hand to officially open the course, and during his address he noted that he was sure that hard work was going to be put in and also reaped. 
“I think the evidence of the hard work that these instructors and the hard work that CONCACAF has done in setting up these courses for the development of the football in the region, will be evidenced by your hard work when you go back to your different clubs. And not just going back to the clubs and doing any old thing, but trying to put together all the information that you have received from these instructors,” Walcott said. (MP)

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