Inclement weather did not deter dedicated teams of boys and girls from attending the launch of the Youth Development Programme’s (YDP) National Sports Training Programmme 2010 at the Deighton Griffith School, this past weekend.

The YDP will see young persons developing their sports skills with the assistance of professionals in the field.?? In his address to participants, Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley said: "This National Sports Training Programme is designed to teach young persons basic sporting skills in the community where they reside.?? In so doing, we have contracted a number of coaches to teach them skills consisting of 40 contact hours…in cricket, football, netball, basketball, volleyball, road tennis, lawn tennis and track and field.?? Training will be done two hours an evening, two evenings a week for 10 weeks.?? We will culminate this programme with a sporting rally, which will occur on February 19, next year."

?????????????????? Young sportsmen and women will not be the only ones to receive training, as there are also plans for those who will help move the programme forward over the next three months.?? ??????????????????

Minister Lashley said: "Leading up to this rally, the Youth Development Programme will host a number of community games across the island. These teams will be managed by community volunteers who will be trained in community sports leaders courses.?? This programme for the community managers will begin on Friday, November 26, this year.??

These community-minded persons will be trained in a number of areas such as sports in the Caribbean, skills and quality of the sports leader… communication skills and the needs of the community.?? These skills are not only suited for this programme but will enhance the quality of persons who will continue to volunteer, even after this programme has ended."

?????????????????? He added that government continued to ensure that issues related to youth and sports were addressed, highlighting its commitment to providing upgraded facilities, such as the installation of lighting for after hours sporting activities.?? The Minister also noted that the Programme’s efforts were consistent with the Youth Manifesto’s emphasis on encouraging a healthy, active youth population, whilst embracing the concept of community outreach via sports.??

Mr. Lashley emphasised that sports played a vital role in the development of the youth and encouraged participants to be inspired by the country’s successful men and women in sports.

"I urge you to be guided by their footprints, to be guided by their examples and carve your own example as an individual, so that others may follow your path," he stressed.

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