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 The new football academy is open to boys and girls between the ages of four and twelve. 

RF Prime Academy to target girls


Young girls in Barbados with an interest in the ‘beautiful game’ now have a programme to call their own. With an influx of youth football academies geared more or less towards boys, a national women’s coach has taken up the mantle to lay down the foundation for a viable future for the island in women’s football.
RF Prime Football Academy got off the ground earlier this month at its WIBISCO Grounds headquarters and is currently offering coaching to young boys and girls every Saturday. The man behind the operation, Richard Forde, a former player and now qualified coach has launched the initiative in an effort to sensitise more girls to football.
Speaking to the Barbados Advocate this past weekend, Forde explained that the birth of the academy came out of a need to provide the fundamentals of the sport at an earlier age for girls. “We cater to boys and girls from four to twelve years old, but our intake will be 90% girls. And why we do that is because we want to ensure that at some point in time in the country we can have more girls playing football. Most of the clubs cater to older girls and here we cater to the younger ones so that they would go through the various development stages.” he said.
Acknowledging the fact that there were several other academies for boys, Forde said that his intention was not to offer any direct competition and that in fact, he was targeting a specific niche in local society. “What we do with the boys is that when they reach 12 years, we would send them off to the clubs. So we are not hampering anybody out there with a club. We are more enhancing them than anything else.” he said.
The National Sports Council Coach, who has attained CONCACAF D and C Coaching Licenses locally, is also accredited up to B License after undertaking an International German B License in 2008 as well as Technical Director course in Germany last year. Noting that the experiences have taught him a lot, Forde has enlisted the assistance of current national women’s players, Giselle Fields, Shanice Stevenson, Gabriella Lopez, who all have an interest in coaching. Forde also explained that the programme was set up in a manner that his trainee coaches learn all that they need to. “What we do here is that all the coaches design their own programmes. I just look at it and make any corrections that need to be made. They are the ones that do most of the coaching. I just direct them and help them out in any way.” he said.
For further information, Richard Forde can be contacted at 243-6610, 425-8740 and at (MP)

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