The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth is on a mission to transform the image of the ???block???.

This disclosure came from Minister, Stephen Lashley, during the closing ceremony of the finals of the Division of Youth Block Draughts Tournament, at his office at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

According to Mr. Lashley, the tournament, which has seen a major increase in participation in its three years of operation, was partly set up to ???build synergies, camaraderie and community awareness???.

He continued: ???The draughts tournament is the enabling event that brings the community together. I think this is a wonderful opportunity???(it) has also allowed us to use what is often seen as a negative element in Barbadian society, namely the ???block??? as a unique space for positive interaction among the nation???s youth.???

In addition, the Minister encouraged participants to recognise the level of influence they had within their communities. ???You are seen as leaders, therefore how you conduct yourself, how you carry out your responsibilities will help that youngster to see you as a role model and emulate you in everything that you do,??? he urged.

Mr. Lashley also commended the winners of the tournament, a team from Haynesville, St. James, who won their second consecutive title. A record 24 teams competed for various prizes and trophies during the draughts tournament.

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