Cultivating life skills through football with Real Madrid
24 June, 2013
The boys from the Saturday Night Lights programme under Sportcares, SSC's philanthropic arm, were given an exclusive opportunity to train with Real Madrid's football coaches in their Campus Experience programme (photo by VOXSPORTS).
It was a week to rejoice for all young avid football fans as top youth coaches from Real Madrid, were down to provide their expertise in the unique RealMadrid Foundation’s CampusExperience Holiday Training and Learning Camp from the 17th to the 21st of June at Raffles Institution.
Spearheaded by the RealMadrid foundation, the CampusExperience training camp focused solely on children from the ages of seven all the way to teenagers aged 17, who carry a wholehearted passion for football.
The training programme was to provide youth with the knowledge and experience of the real paces that Real Madrid players go through during training. It’s also encourages a healthy lifestyle through football.
“The mission of RealMadrid Foundation is to integrate our player’s values and Real Madrid’s values into the kids,” commented Sergio Martinez, project director of the holiday training camp in Singapore. “Values like respect and leadership are present in the activities we work on and it will really help them not only in sport but in life as well.”
Real Madrid coaches cast a watchful eye over the participants of the Holiday Training Camp. Unconventional training methods were introduced to the participants to not just develop their football techniques, but also values that can be imparted into daily life (photo by VOXSPORTS).
Participants from the Saturday Night Lights were also present at the camp to be part of the exclusive chance to train under the professional coaches from Madrid.
The programme started promptly at 8.30 am with the excited participants arriving alongside the coaches and staff. Due to the hazy weather conditions that were persisting over the week, the programme was altered to have activities indoors.
Participants were split into groups ranging in ages as they went ahead in different directions to take part in the stations that had been created specially for each age groups.
With stations all set up within the indoor stadium, the activities got underway. The activities centred around improving the participants basic footballing elements of passing, shooting and dribbling.
Non-conventional but effective training methods were used for the kids to give them a new experience to football training as well as give them an idea of how their Spanish counterparts train back in Europe. Some of these methods included passing around a tennis ball instead of a football during a match as well as simulating real-match situations in the training,
To break the monotony of playing continuous football, other fun games were included in the schedule as well. These activities also served as a platform for the participants to improve important skills such as teamwork, leadership and respect.
With the physical intensity of the training sessions in mind, the organizers of the camp placed great emphasis on regular hydration.
Participants were also given some technicalities of football in a classroom exercise. They watched a video of Real Madrid’s finest in action; Cristiano Ronaldo. The video included a documentary about how Ronaldo trained and how he became one of the world’s best footballers.
Having trained and been with the participants for four days, the coaches had nothing but praises to sing about the attitude and the skills of our local youth.
“I think these players have great attitudes and they are always giving their best in everything the programme has to offer and I think they have great potential to improve in their footballing skills,” reported a beaming Ivan Garcia, one of the youth coaches from the RealMadrid Foundation.
The participants themselves had a great time as they managed to bond with people that they had never met before by taking part in the sport that they all love dearly.
“I feel extremely honoured because I’m being coached by the best coaches of the Real Madrid youth team. Not many people have this opportunity to be taught by these football experts,” said grinning SportsCares participant, Pavithran. “It also makes me very happy as these coaches helped me improve on my football skills and gameplay.”