|Tourism Minister,??Richard Sealy (l)??and Sports Minister, Stephen Lashley (r) sharing a light moment with Barbadian NFL Super Bowl Champion,??Ramon Harewood at Hilton Barbados. (A. Miller/BGIS)??|
Barbadian NFL Super Bowl Champion, Ramon Harewood, has been lauded for giving back to his country and for taking the initiative to expose a new style of sports training to the island’s youth.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, showered praise on Mr. Harewood and his Baltimore Raven teammates at the launch of the Big Mon Elite Athletic Development Training Camp. The launch took place at the Hilton Barbados last Friday.
"It is very important to instill the understanding [in our youth] that beyond the field, beyond the television screens and the high moments, that getting involved in sports, maintaining fitness and agility requires discipline and hard work," Mr Lashley said.
He continued: "Although ???American football’ is not widely played here, it is still a big thing in Barbados and lots of people follow the sport.?? So, I believe the interplay that would obtain between young people and yourself… would evoke a lot of attention … on new techniques of training."
Stating that the camp underscored the island’s focus on expanding sports tourism, he pointed out, that Government had just unfolded "a very bold and energetic National sports strategy" which would involve reaching out to other countries in the area of sports tourism.
He said that it was very important that such training was taking place in the area of football and added that part of the National Strategy for Sport was to also encourage other players to come to the island to host similar camps.
Mr. Harewood, a 26-year-old offensive lineman, explained that the inaugural Big Mon Elite Athletic Development Training Camp catered to children between the ages of 12 to 18.
He noted that the camp was not "football oriented, but rather training oriented," and would also feature one-on-one developmental sessions with the youngsters.
"We just want to bring a new level of thinking when it comes to athletic training here, so I just want to bring the kids out and push them like they need to be pushed," he said.
He further stated: "…Growing up here, being involved in sports and playing on three national teams, I know firsthand the amount of talent that we have here.?? I feel like there is a wealth of talent that needs to be explored…," the Barbadian Super Bowl Champion said.
Also in attendance at the launch were National Hero, Sir Garfield Sobers; Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy; Baltimore Raven players Damien Bulter, Bryan Hall and Torrey Smith; as well as Retired Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back and Camp Coordinator, Erric Pegram.??