PHUKET, Thailand, April 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — British International School Phuket (BISP) and Brazil’s Cruzeiro Esporte Clube have decided to extend their successful partnership until 2023, eight years after first joining hands. The extension comes following BISP’s wins at international competitions and its players being recognised by international clubs and well-established universities.
The success of BISP’s football programmes is a result of Jonathas Candido who heads the Cruzeiro Football Academy at BISP, having previously played professionally for Cruzeiro E.C before working as a coach for the club’s Under 9 and Under 10 teams in Brazil.
“The idea of this partnership was to put BISP on the football map and create competitive teams that would take part in international school and academy competitions. We wanted people to know that the school not only excels at academics, but also delivers a high-quality sports program,” says Jonathas adding that BISP’s excellent sports facilities coupled with training from Cruzeiro Academy’s coaches, is what has made this partnership so successful.
“In other schools, kids have to travel elsewhere to utilise this level of training and avail of such facilities. At BISP we can provide all of this under one roof. Additionally, many of the kids board on campus which makes it much easier for us to monitor their health and nutrition. When it comes to developing a young athlete, that’s a big advantage.”
Shining on the global stage with a IBERCUP win
Since BISP’s first tour of Europe in 2015 where the objective was simply to see the scale of international competitions, the team went on to win the IBERCUP in 2019, a top-tier competition that takes place every year in Spain and Portugal and attracts a number of youth teams and professional clubs from around Europe.
The team also travelled to Brazil where they had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a professional club environment. The students were exposed to the world’s biggest factory of football athletes and had a chance to see, train and play with the best youth athletes in the country — a unique opportunity that showed them what it takes to make it at an elite level.
A programme to develop talent
The BISP and Cruzeiro Esporte Clube partnership has also produced programmes to nurture football talents. Candido introduced an International 11-a-side tournament at the school alongside the well-established Soccer 7s and last year hosted the inaugural beach soccer tournament. Further attracting local and international football talent to the school was another priority, which led to the establishment of a football scholarship for both boys and girls.
“The scholarship has helped us to attract high-level footballers to the school. Once we started to win more competitions and get noticed all over Asia, BISP students were sought after to sign contracts with clubs and universities. This is the kind of excitement around football that we always wanted,” says Jonathas.
BISP Cruzeiro Football Academy has loftier goals than just winning matches and tournaments. Using the Cruzeiro method — a proven, professional system, created by Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in Brazil and adapted for Thailand and BISP’s unique environment — young athletes learn tactical, technical, physical and psychological skills that enable them to develop and utilise their potential to the maximum. The system is delivered by highly qualified specialists in physical education and professional coaches from Brazil, something Jonathas says differentiates the academy from others.
“We don’t just hoist the club’s banner and hire coaches who are not trained by Cruzeiro. Everything is delivered by Cruzeiro coaches who understand the philosophy and replicate it at BISP,” says Jonathas. “That’s a big advantage, because other clubs who have established academies in Asia don’t provide this authentic experience. Having local Brazilian coaches who understand the club’s philosophy is a true representation of Cruzeiro — a Brazilian club with Brazilian methodology and Brazilian coaches delivering it.”
The academy now has 250+ students, of whom 160 are high performance athletes who train six days a week both before and after school.
“All students who opt for football, regardless of their age, level, or gender, have the opportunity to be coached by one of the professional coaches. Another unique aspect of our programme is that we have our older high-performance footballers mentoring our younger footballers during their sessions which builds a positive community atmosphere and helps create good role models,” states Athletics Director Jeff LaMantia.
As Jonathas recalls the teams’ victories and losses over the last eight years, he states how much both he and the kids have learnt along the way.
“The last eight years have taught us a lot,” says Jonathas. “Winning is hugely important and we do play to win, but it’s never just about winning. It’s about our students playing in a competitive environment against some of the best players in the world where they will be pushed to their limits and develop their skills in the best possible way. This is what being a high performance Cruzeiro athlete is all about.”
Find out more about the British International School, Phuket’s world-class facilities for day and boarding pupils here.
About British International School, Phuket
British International School, Phuket (BISP) is a co-educational day and boarding school, established in 1996 and set in extensive landscaped grounds. The school aims to deliver the highest standards of teaching and learning to an international community emphasizing wellbeing and passion on a modern and well equipped campus.
The school is divided into Early Years, Primary and Secondary levels and offers the IB Diploma, IGCSE and the Cambridge ESOL examinations. British International School, Phuket also offers an externally assessed programme from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and high-performance academies in Football, Golf, Swimming, Tennis and Aerial Arts.
Inspire learning; nurture wellbeing; ignite passion.
SOURCE British International School, Phuket