Football may be well on its way to its former glory in Orange Walk and the entire country for that matter. That’s because the Football Federation of Belize has embarked on a youth program for both males and females. That program entails organizing talent schools for under thirteen, under fifteen and under seventeen players. The program was been officially launched in the Orange Walk District last week and on Saturday young football lovers gathered at the People’s Stadium for a festival, and it was all about having fun. Dalila Ical has the story.

 Screen_Shot_2014-01-27_at_6.39.56_PMDalila Ical – Reporting


Children as young as six up to twelve years old and all in between mingled on the football field over the weekend as they took their first steps into learning everything there is to learn about football.


Jayden Michael

“Good, I like football because it is fun and I get to meet with other friend too”


Talent schools have also been opened in the Toledo, Corozal, and Stann Creek Districts. Executive member of the Football Federation of Belize, Chris Gamez is in charge of Youth Development and the program falls directly under his portfolio.

Chris Gamez – Executive Member, FFB

“The bigger picture for the Federation is that each Academy or each talent school for every district would then participate in what we will call a national tournament, thereafter from the talent schools we will select players for the national selection of Belize so the is basically what the Federation if preparing for to have the best players for the National Selection through these programs.”


The program is the real deal. Children will learn the full disciplines on football from trained coaches who have gone through a complete coaching program under the FFB. President Ruperto Vicente says that if Belize wants to mold great players there is a need to start investing in the children.


Ruperto Vicente – President, FFB

“We need to start from this age of six up to the age of twenty we are providing specialize skills for young players and this is where we start.”


Technical Director Renan Cowo explained that this lively bunch began their grass roots training, meaning they played freely. Unknowingly to them, they learned two key lessons.


Renan Cowo – Technical Director

“Desarrollo de habilidades de forma natural y tomar decisiones porque tenemos cinco estaciones ahorita, y podemos trabajar seis, ocho, diez dependiendo la cantidad de los niños y el momento que cambian de una estación a otro el cerebro tiene que procesar rápido el cambio para el nuevo ejercicio que van a realizar ellos y es muy importante para el desarrollo en el país.”

There were at least fifty children taking part in Saturday’s festival. Two of them were females.



Ruperto Vicente – President, FFB

“I’m surprised we don’t have as many female football players out here this morning, you know, but we should have so it means then that we have to come back to Orange Walk and to a greater effort in getting female football players.  Female football is becoming more attractive and so we have to make extra effort in attracting young ladies to play football in this country.”


The FFB is aiming at opening talent schools specifically for females by March this year. Just like the male teams, they too will be taking part in the district and inter-district tournaments and even form a national selection.


Chris Gamez – Executive Member, FFB

“It is safe fun and we need to have our children being involve in activities like these because they don’t only develop the player only physically but as ell mentally and hopefully assist them to be better citizens of our country and of Orange Walk community.”


And while this may be their first official introduction into the sport, technical Director Renan Cowo says he sees great potential in Orange Walk.


Renan Cowo – Technical Director

“Hasta lo que eh visto en todo el día de hoy en todo el país, aquí podían tener la mejor selección distrital sub-trece.”


Dalila Ical - Reporter

“Por qué dice eso?”

Renan Cowo – Technical Director

“Porque he encontrado a muchos niños que tienen un talento natural que los entrenadores poder ir desarrollando poco a poco, niños muy habilidoso, niño que se saben desmarcarse muy natural, niños que tienen muy buen manejo de balón y hasta el día de hoy lo que he visto lo que podría hacer la mejor selección distrital sub-trece.”

That fact is undoubtedly encouraging but all these young enthusiasts know is that they had fun.


Ian Micheal

“It was good because we won all around there but there and we are playing for almost three hours and I really like the game and basketball and all of that.”



“When we were crossing the cones and went to score. I enjoyed myself too.”


Dalila Ical -Reporter

“You enjoy playing football a lot?”


Albert Burn


“Yes miss, because it is fun and it makes you to get out of trouble and make you don’t get involved in drugs. I encourage other to come in and play the sport and especially girls because we have little girls playing football.”


The Football Federation of Belize will be launching talent schools next in Cayo, Belize, Mango Creek and Belmopan. Once all schools have been established the preparations for the national tournament will commence. Each district will have its own selection that will take part in the national tournament.

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