Barbados has long been a favorite low-key getaway for vacationing families, but one of the better-kept secrets among parents until now is that since 2007 the Barbados Tourism Authority has been underwriting a free sports camp in August thats open to local as well as vacationing kids between the ages of 9 and 17.
This isnt your typical dump and run kiddie program. At Barbados Sports Camp your youngsters are coached in cricket, soccer, or netball (similar to basketball) by some of the sports most prominent stars. Most of the coaches are retired players, such as striker Mark Bright and midfielder John Salako, both formerly of Englands Crystal Palace football club. If your household only pretends to care about soccer during World Cup time those names may not ring a bell. That said, soccer aficionados might recall Geoff Hurst, whose goal against West Germany clinched the World Cup for England in 1966. Hurst coached soccer for the sports camp in 2008.
Drop-off is at 10am at Banks Sports Club, located in the Wildey area of St. Michael Parish, about 10 minutes southeast of Bridgetown by car (incidentally, the club is affiliated with the Banks Brewery, which will offer you a free tour once your childs in camp for a week). The camp day runs until 2pm or 3pm. Youll need to send your child with lunch or lunch money and ensure youve packed him proper sports attire, including sneakers. The camp furnishes basic protective gear, like shin guards, but verify when you book precisely what gear is provided in conjunction with your childs sport.
As with any camp youll need to sign a form attesting to your childs good health and confirming you agree to the camps terms and conditions, including making sure your child understands that swearing, abusive and hurtful language is not acceptable and aggressive behaviour or violence cannot be tolerated. Yes, that goes for cricket, too.