Paul Walker (USA) visited Mexico as part of the ITF Silver Fund project in partnership with the Cruyff Foundation. This was the second trip as part of the project with Tom Van Doren conducting the first one earlier in May. A large focus was placed on introducing Juniors to the sport and increasing the opportunities for their participation within the sport.
The visit commenced with presentations at the ITF regional coaches conference which was held in Mexico this year. Following this activity moved to Guadalajara where a training clinic launched the programme. Players were taken through a range of tactical, mobility and technical drills, learning from the experience of Paul Walker and Tom Van Doren.
The Teleton Centre was visited the following day with 15 Juniors all taking part in activity. Everyone had a lot of fun and came away with great enthusiasm about getting involved in the sport after having the opportunity to be involved with this showcase. For many this was their first time being involved in the sport and a number of different drills and activities were conducted to introduce them to the sport.
Clinics were also conducted in Mexico City along with an event in the parking lot of the Shriners Hospital. Local player Lizbeth Soto Riviera took part in this event, providing a role model for other young disabled athletes. The visit concluded with a visit to the DIF rehabilitation hospital which provided a day full of smiles and a group of very motivated future players.
Many people were provided with the opportunity to be involved with the programme for the first time. There is great enthusiasm within Mexico to grow the sport and following this trip programmes are already in place in order to allow participants to stay involved and progress in their ability.