Liverpool Football Club and Sunderland Athletic Footbal Club on board with Digicel in youth talent search across Caribbean and Central America

Tuesday May 5th – Kingston, Jamaica
: Digicel, the largest mobile operator in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Central American market, today launched its youth football development programme, the “ Digicel Kick Start Clinics”, for the second year running.

A huge hit across the region last year, the Digicel Kick Start Clinics give young footballers the chance to be trained by John Barnes, one of the world’s most famous players, a former England and Liverpool star and current coach of Jamaica’s national team, the Reggae Boyz - as well as the chance to realise their dreams and hope to impress English Premier League coaches and become professional footballers.

This year’s Digicel Kickstart Clinics will be even Bigger and Better with the addition of Central America to the programme. The eight best Under 16 players from across the Caribbean region will be given the chance to train for a week with Sunderland AFC in September– while the four best Central American Under 16s talents will train with Liverpool FC in October for a week.

The Digicel Kickstart Clinics will take place throughout May and June in six countries across the Caribbean – Jamaica, Barbados, Suriname, Haiti, Trinidad and St. Kitts - before moving on, for the first time, to Central America where Digicel youth clinics will take place in Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador throughout August.

Speaking at the press conference and 5 a side football match launch in Kingston, Jamaica, the Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, John Barnes said, “Last year’s Digicel Kick Start Clinics were an inspiring experience. In each and every one of the eight countries we visited, we identified really talented, enthusiastic and dedicated young players.

He continued; “The eight players who won the right to go and train with Sunderland last year came back with invaluable lessons and experiences – evident in their game today - under their belts. There’s so much raw enthusiasm and talent out there, I’m really looking forward to getting out there and getting to work.”

Digicel Group Marketing Director, Kieran Foley, commented, “This year, we’re going Bigger and Better with the introduction of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics to four countries in Central America – as well as holding them in six countries across the Caribbean. And we’re delighted to be teaming up with Sunderland again and that Liverpool Football Club has joined in and realized the credibility of the development programmes we have in place across the Caribbean and Central America.”

The Digicel Kick Start Clinics, are made possible by the full support of President Jack Warner of the Caribbean Football Union, whose vision has now propelled the clinics further afield into Central America.

Commenting on the initiative, President Jack Warner said; “This is another great example of Digicel’s commitment to the support and development of football at all levels of the game. The chance to be trained by a world-class footballer like John Barnes is something these young players would normally only be able to dream of – with the Digicel Kick Start Clinics, Digicel is making dreams a reality.”

Full details of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics will be announced locally over the coming weeks and will include details on how local clubs and school teams have the opportunity to be part of these once in a lifetime football development clinics.

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Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the largest wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean with more than six million customers.  After seven years, Digicel is renowned for competitive rates, unbeatable coverage, superior customer care, a wide variety of products and services and state-of-the-art handsets. By offering innovative wireless services and community support, Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has placed the region at the cutting-edge of wireless communications – the company is also a new entrant to the Central American market.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and now has operations in 31 markets world-wide. Its Caribbean and Central American markets comprise Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Panama, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos. The Caribbean company also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths. Digicel Pacific comprises Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean and Central American sports teams, including the West Indies Cricket Team and Special Olympics teams throughout the region. Digicel is also title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Championships and the Copa de Naciones Digicel, which are the Caribbean and Central American qualifiers to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.