Athletes in Action, a sports based Christian ministry, was invited to bring a team of soccer coaches to the Caribbean island of Dominica by the Ministry of Sport. This team included Kasha Roberts (Asst. Women’s Coach at Dakota Wesleyan University and former player for Dayton Dutch Lions), Kurt Kuykendall (Former professional with the original New York Cosmos and US Pan-Am Team Member), Zach Blaine (Former college athlete and professional in the 2nd Division Bundesliga), and Jeremy and Ashley Tosaya (current head men’s coach at Dakota Wesleyan University).
During our 12 day trip we worked with over 160 students ages 5-17 in the local academy system; the Dominica Men’s National Team, two U20 3rd Division teams, and conducted a coaches clinic for the Dominica FA and the Dominica Football Coaches Association. Our team ran several player clinics working on improving technical ability and small group tactics, and tried to help educate the academy coaches as conducted these player clinics. Our interaction with the coaches association focused mainly on how to design a training session and the elements involved in running an effective practice. During the trip we used the soccer balls donated to us by Challenger Sports, and at the end of the coaches tour we distributed equipment donated to the local soccer academies that we had an opportunity to work with.
Plans are to return this December, 2014 and help the DFA and the Coaches Association run a soccer festival that will bring all the academies together for a weekend tournament. We are still in contact with the DFA Technical Director and Men’s National Team head coach about the development of the national pool of talent, and we correspond regularly with the president of the Coaches Association.