Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley (FP)

Government is fully committed to assisting young people achieve their goals.

This assurance has come from Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who said that despite the limitations due to the global economic situation, his Ministry was "creatively redesigning our delivery pathways so that our services are not reduced or hindered".

Mr. Lashley made the comments yesterday during the launch of the Zarico Weekes Football Project at the Briar Hall Pavilion, Christ Church. The initiative has been developed for boys between the ages of eight and 13 and 10 teams from several Christ Church districts will be given an opportunity to develop and showcase their skills.

The competition is being sponsored by the Division of Youth and it came out of an idea put to the Minister by Zarico Weekes, a 14-year-old resident of Christ Church.
Explaining why he was supporting the programme, the Minister stated: "Team sports have unique demands that call everyone involved to play his or her individual role, while supporting team members. This learning can transcend into our everyday lives and teach each participant that he must work hard at his individual task, while simultaneously recognising and accepting the importance of others around him.

"… The competition is a structured activity that would showcase the talent of the young people and provide an opportunity for personal development and awareness building."

Mr. Lashley urged residents to come forward and identify other programmes that could further develop their communities.

During the day, the participants and spectators were exposed to an HIV and AIDS awareness campaign and the Minister underscored the importance of this sensitisation. According to him, even though Barbadians were aware of the gravity of the pandemic, statistics did not reflect that knowledge in terms of behavioural change. He stressed that persons "must not only protect themselves, but recognise that discrimination is not a cure".


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