The Ministry of Sports is using football as a means of educating young men about various life skills.

Speaking at a press conference on the upcoming National Junior Football Tournament, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Ruth Blackman, explained that her Ministry planned to use sports as a means of introducing socially developmental initiatives to the nation???s youth.

The tournament, she said, was therefore seen as ???a means to an end???. ???It forms part of our ???sports for development programme??????This is something that we have committed to; to use sports as a lens to the empowerment of our young people,??? she continued.

Through the medium of football, 750 young men will be introduced to various programmes aimed at educating and empowering them to make better life style choices. The Permanent Secretary noted that HIV and AIDS awareness and drug prevention and education were among the many subject areas which would be addressed.

Director of Youth, Cleviston Hunte, said the model to be used was similar to that of the National Community Sports Training Programme. He explained that a selected group of staff members from the Ministry would offer training sessions on the various socially developmental areas.

It was also stated that the Ministry would utilise the expertise of various entities, such as the National Council on Substance Abuse. The Director of Youth noted that it was his hope that the programme would become an annual one, which would eventually include opportunities for female players .

The tournament will officially begin on Saturday, December 12, at the Briar Hall Playing Field, Christ Church, and run until Thursday, January 21, 2016.

The full schedule for the National Sports Council/Youth Development Programme Under-17 Football Tournament may be found be clicking here.

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