My name is Avian Girard, I am fourteen years old and I am a member of the Valley Soccer Academy. I have been playing football since I was six years old and I love it more and more every day. Recently I was chosen to take part in a three day event called the Digicel Kickstart along with the 29 other boys from around the island, who were in my age group . These boys were top players who were chosen by local coaches. In order to prepare for the Digicel Kickstart I paid a lot of attention to my diet, by making sure I ate nutritious meals and kept my body hydrated by drinking a lot of water every day, and trained very hard, giving everything twice as much effort as I usually did.
My club, Valley Soccer Academy, was very influential in preparing me for the Digicel Kickstart Clinic. The week before the first round when the top players in Castries, were been chosen, my coach instructed us by giving us certain drills to help prepare us. I took the training sessions very seriously, so when the local coaches were assessing us I put all my effort into the drills. When the Chelsea coaches were assessing us I thought I did even better due to my training at Valley Soccer weeks before. After the pre clinics I knew I gave my best, but I was still a little concerned as to whether the coaches liked me enough, and thankfully they did. That feeling of concern pushed me to try even harder in the next round, after I realized that I was chosen in the top ten.
During the Digicel Kickstart clinic I was very nervous, due to the fact that as a result of my age this was my last chance to make it in the top three and knowing that it would be very competitive. I knew some of the other players from the other districts from previous encounters. Although I was very aware of the fact that they were very skillful in the game of football, I focused on the fact that I was in good form due to my intense training with The Valley Soccer Academy and the Castries Central Team. So I remained positive and was determined to do my very best, and to fight for a spot to go to Barbados which I had been working towards for a while.
I remained very motivated in the build up towards the clinic. First of all I prayed a lot and asked for guidance and strength, then my family supported me the whole way through, by taking me to training and encouraging me. My friends were always asking me questions and were intrigued by my different experiences and showed a lot of interest in what I was doing. My Club supported me from day one by preparing me step by step along with my other team mates, my coaches and staff of the club especially Coach Parry, Coach Deaver, Coach Carson, Mrs. Ersher Daniel are always a big help in not only keeping me motivated but my team mates as well.
On the last day of the Clinic, during the last thirty minutes I was very nervous and exhausted from the intense training sessions throughout the two days and was relieved when it was over. As the time went by my heart started beating faster and what made it worse was that my name was called last out of the three so I was very nervous, but I knew I put in a good performance and had a positive attitude towards the coaches and the training sessions. I was relieved and very happy when my name was finally called.
I was very satisfied with the selection process and knowing what the coaches were looking for made it easier for me to know what to do to try to impress them. The players selected are very skillful, I’ve seen them play before and I knew what they were capable of and I am happy they made it through with me and hope we all do well in Barbados.
My plans between now and October are to continue to train hard with my Club, and to take advantage of the training I will receive in Barbados. I am also looking forward to meeting the other participants from around the region. I am very grateful for this opportunity as I believe it will not only help me in football but will help me in my overall personal development.