Although the Division of Youth’s Community Block Draughts Tournament had a significantly lower turn out this year, Ministry officials maintain that the tournament continues to be a success.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, recently expressed his satisfaction with the returns on the approximately $20,000 per year investment, at an awards ceremony for participants, held in the training room of the Ministry’s headquarters in Sky Mall.
“I am satisfied with the returns on our financial investment in the Block Draughts Tournament. It achieved several important outputs, namely – youth recreation, unearthing talent, youth participation and community cohesion. [They] have indeed been very vital in achieving results,” he stated.
The Sports Minister noted that over the past five years, the Block Draughts Tournament has collaborated with many agencies in an effort to add an educational and personal development component.
“In 2012, the tournament joined with the HIV & AIDS Committee within this Ministry to sensitise the players about the dangers of HIV and how to protect themselves from the disease by using safe sex education,” he explained.
Mr. Lashley further revealed that the organisers of the tournament also partnered with the Department of Emergency Management in an effort to equip players with vital first responder training and information.
This year, the winning draughts team came from Paris Hill, St. Joseph.