Sports can be used as a tool for conflict resolution and can be essential to the holistic development of Barbadian youth.

This is the view of Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic on Sunday evening, at the Gall Hill Sporting Complex, Gall Hill, St. John.

Mr. Blackett said he believed that sports could be used as a mechanism to help young people resolve issues peacefully when faced with conflict, challenges and stressful situations.

???There is a need to create positive outlets for stress and aggression??? sports can be used as that positive outlet???. It creates discipline and can move the youth away from risky behaviour and crime,??? he reasoned.

The Minister was also of the view that sporting tournaments such as the David Thompson Classic gave Barbadian youth the opportunity to develop their athletic skills and unleash their hidden talents. He encouraged Barbadians to continue to support the tournament and other sporting activities which could benefit the youth on the island.

Master of Ceremonies, Mac Fingall, applauded the young men for being a part of the competition, and encouraged others to participate in sporting activities. He told those gathered that he also believes that sports could be used to holistically develop young people.

???Sports gives you identify; it teaches you discipline; teaches you how to be on time; it makes you feel like somebody; it teaches conflict resolution. The importance of sports must not be overlooked,??? he stressed. Thirty teams, representing six zones, will compete for the first prize of BDS $30,000. The competition ends on Sunday, December 6.

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