Sixteen-year old Markus Lake and 14-year-old Sheldon Harry Jr have been selected to represent the British Virgin Islands against footballers from 14 other Caribbean countries where telecoms company Flow currently operates.
They were among 27 up and coming footballers between the ages of 13 and 16 who had their skills tested over the weekend at the Flow Ultimate Football Experience – a competition put together by Flow and Manchester United Football Club, and supported by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).
The boys and girls vied for the chance to participate in a talent development football camp in Trinidad, and to possibly win a VIP trip that includes touring Old Trafford in England and viewing a Manchester United home game.
Local coaches John Reilly, Richie Morton, Thomas Albert, Javon Carty, Glen Bascombe, and Cassandra Gregg put the young footballers through their paces at the A.O. Shirley Recreational Grounds in a series of challenges that tested their dribbling, short passing, and control.
The programme was specially designed for the Flow Ultimate Football Experience by coaches at the Manchester United Soccer School, and the 30 talented footballers were chosen by their clubs and/or school coaches.
The young Lake and Harry – along with their coaches Javon Carty and Cassandra Gregg – will now advance to a two-day skills session in Trinidad and Tobago to experience one-on-one training with CFU and Manchester United Soccer School (MUSS) coaches.
Both the coaches and footballers will participate in a series of drills designed by MUSS, and will compete for a trip to the world-famous football stadium.
“Flow BVI is delighted to bring this event to the island – a once in a life time experience for all the young people who took part,” said Tim Ringsdore, Managing Director of Flow BVI.
“Our company has supported sports, education and young people in the BVI for many years, and this was another great opportunity for us to provide local footballers with a day they will hopefully remember for a long time.”
Carty, who is one of the coaches, said: “It was a good day overall. The skills were quite challenging but it was a good experience for the players, and it gave them and the BVI exposure.”
“I am especially excited about the two finalists, Lake and Harry. Their winning showed me that my hard work as a coach has paid off, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they match up against the other finalists when we all meet in Trinidad.”
Meanwhile, Olympic track athlete and Flow Brand Ambassador Ashley Kelly was on hand at the weekend event as Master of Ceremonies, and she also did a warm up with the footballers before the skills challenge.
Certificates were presented to each participant, and the two winners each received a trophy.
The Flow Ultimate Football Experience is one of several Manchester United and Flow partnership initiatives.
In January, Flow hosted the FA Cup Caribbean Tour which gave football fans up-close and unprecedented access to football’s most coveted trophy. The final leg of the tour culminated in the Cayman Islands, where Manchester United ambassador Dwight Yorke made an appearance.
Flow Ultimate Football Experiences will take place in Curacao, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Trinidad, Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos, St. Kitts and Dominica.
Cable and Wireless is Manchester United’s telecommunications partner in the Caribbean.
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