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Under-15 Belize Boys National Team train in Colombia’s highlands in preparation for Concacaf U15 Championship next month in Curaçao

Posted: Friday, July 21, 2023. 1:30 pm CST.

Photo Credit: FFB

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “We’re absolutely thrilled to share that our team is embarking on a phenomenal journey to Barbosa, Santander, in Northeastern Colombia,” the Football Federation of Belize said as it reported on the Under-15 Belize Boys National Team (BBNT) which is in Colombia undergoing a 20-day physical training programme in preparation for their participation in the 2023 Concacaf U15 Championship to be held in Curaçao from August 4-11.

The U15 BBNT are competing in Group G of the Concacaf League B against Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Aruba.

The U15 BBNT was traveling to Barbosa to train in a unique location that is 1610 meters above sea level— a stark contrast to their home base in Belmopan at just 76 meters above sea level.

“Why train at such a high altitude?” the FFB asked rhetorically as they very well know that this is a popular strategy among athletes, and it has its benefits.

“In such environments, where the air is thinner and oxygen less abundant, our bodies are compelled to adapt to the scarcity. This can significantly enhance our endurance, better preparing us for the competitions ahead.”

The FFB explained that the process also promotes the production of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells, which in turn help transport oxygen to the muscles more efficiently.

“It’s like a natural, organic power boost for our bodies!” the FFB said.

“By subjecting themselves to these tougher conditions, our Jaguars are not just picking up new football techniques; they are also unlocking a whole new level of physical resilience and adaptability. The valuable lessons learned and bonds formed on this journey are guaranteed to last far beyond the length of the trip itself.”

From the photographs posted by the FFB on social media, the boys are working hard but also having some fun in the highlands of Colombia.

A couple days ago, the U15 BBNT won their first practice match in Colombia 5-2 over a team named Alianza Nacional. The Jaguars are ready to face another challenge today, as they play against ‘El templo del futbol’.


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