UK-based functional movement coach, Carlos Salvador Joao, and local clinical psychologist, Kamu Laird, will be heading the inaugural Community Sports Clinic (CSC) which will take place next week. The clinic runs from Monday to Friday from 8 am-2 pm at St Mary’s College Grounds, St Clair. This announcement was made at the CSC’s media launch on Thursday at Trotters restaurant, Maraval Road, Port-of-Spain. The clinic will be the first of its kind in T&T, as it focuses on the all-round development of individuals by complementing physical training with psychological training. The clinic will be targeting youth between the ages of seven to 18, who will be exposed to overall athleticism and biomechanical development under a functional movement component, which will be headed by Joao. This will be followed by a brain training component, headed by Laird. These two major components are further divided into five development modules which conclude: mechanics of movement, explosive feet, core stability, visual awareness and athletic power, multi-directional movement and a multi-functional sports day.
The CSC is a collaborative initiative between Joao, Laird and event coordinator, Asha De Freitas-Moseley, who have been discussing the idea for more than a year. Joao, a UEFA “B” certified football coach, is also heavily involved in sports media as a news anchor for Sports 360 on VoxAfrica and a freelance choreographer. He is most popularly known for his role in the 2010 Guiness Football Scout Commercial, which featured a football scout being driven around in a taxi (driven by Joao), searching for talent somewhere in South Africa. Speaking at the launch, De Freitas-Moseley revealed that the idea to host the clinic was born out of a genuine concern for the limited options available to youth to explore their hidden talents and the rising rate of child abuse. “In 2010 when the World Cup was going on there was a Guinness commercial that was playing and there was a taxi driver escorting a football scout. That driver I fell in love with, because there was something about him in the commercial that I absolutely loved and was drawn to. As fate would have it I met Carlos and we just started talking and (I) found out that he was also a coach. As I spoke to Carlos more, he explained that he has a huge passion for mentorship. This was another thing that drew me in as well because there are so many incidences of child abuse in Trinidad, so I wanted to do something to help with that. “So the idea was going from ‘hey that’s cool’ to ‘wow this can really have a big impact on our society’ in a very positive way. So we started to talk about mentorship and that drew us to the mental side of it...so I approached Kamu about building a brain training aspect to it,” she stated.
Speaking on his component, Laird pointed out that brain training is just as critical as physical training in achieving optimal athlete performance. “A lot of athletes do a lot of work with their body...and they kind of leave the brain behind. So we want to be able to give the youth of this programme a little more awareness and insight into using what they have. Praise and confidence is one thing, but we really want to be able to be more technical, just as you are technical with the body. We want to first heighten their awareness by letting them get a breakdown of the individual athlete. A lot of time it is very difficult to get maximum performance without using the brain.” Joao also explained some of what his component intends to do. “We want to make young performers more aware of how they should be moving their bodies and what there bodies are capable of doing, if trained correctly. It’s about teaching them quality techniques as opposed to ‘you need to train hard.’” Joao and Laird will also be conducting a coaching workshop today and tomorrow at the CIC grounds from 8 am - 4 pm for local coaches from the Ministry of Sport, who will be assisting them during the clinic. The two-day course will allow the local coaches to gain expertise which they can use in the future to improve their athletes. People interested in registering for the clinic can contact Altus Health Services at 621-1000 or visit the CSC’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/SportsClinicTT