By Nat Hodge, The Anguillian
STONEY GROUND, Anguilla -- August 12th marked the beginning of the 8th Annual Farroba Camp. Mr. Joe Farroba, head coach of the Bridgewater State University Basketball program, has been coming to Anguilla and conducting these camps for the past eight years. Over the years he has been able to engage the support of other coaches such as Don Bryan, Mike Bryan, Brian Ferris, Dave Bartlett and Jack Bartlett who religiously make themselves available. “I look forward to this every year and wouldn’t miss it for the world”, said Jack Bartlett. The coaches are also ably supported by Mr. Ian ‘Tucker’ Connor a coaching icon in Anguilla.
Department of Sports, Program Officer and Camp Coordinator, Mr. Delano Mussington, said that this year the camp had 48 participants, three of whom were girls. He continued; “We’re really excited about how things turned out this year. It was a bit slow on the first day but the numbers quickly grew and the coaches had a great time working with the kids.”
Coach Farroba was full of emotion on the closing day of the camp and shared, “I’m always happy to come out here to Anguilla, the other coaches also look forward to it because we enjoy working with these kids and we see so much talent here. We’re hoping that we can take things to another level where some persons could get the opportunity to travel and compete and maybe have scholarship opportunities in the US and elsewhere.”
Director of Sports, Mr. Andre Collins, was also in high praise of the visiting coaches and the man he calls his MVP ‘Tucker’ as well as Mr. Mussington. He went on: “I can’t say how thankful we are to all the individuals and organizations who support this initiative year after year. Mr. Farroba personally donates the shirts and balls for participants each year and he and the other coaches pay their own way to get here. Then we have the dedicated support of restaurants like Straw Hat, E’s Oven, Veya and Sunshine Shack and at the end of the camp this year the participants were treated courtesy Elvis Fleming of Elvis Beach Bar. It just goes to show what’s possible when everyone does a little.”
The Department of Sports has indicated plans to create an academy with several of the players that were identified by the coaches and to begin working towards their development and exploring opportunities for competitions on the AAU circuit.