From left to right: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Yolande Howard; Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland; National Sports Council Director, Neil Murrell and Deputy Director, Emerson Bascombe, in discussion at the Wildey Gymnasium this morning. (S.Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

The new Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, today signalled his intention to use sports as a key tool to empower Barbadian youth.

Speaking during a tour and meet and greet this morning with staff of the National Sports Council (NSC), at the Wildey Gymnasium, Minister Sutherland, revealed that sports would feature prominently in his vision for taking the Ministry forward.

While speaking to NSC coaches, Mr. Sutherland revealed that he is very passionate about sports and youth, which was developed as a student at the Lodge School. 

He said: “It developed my leadership skills; it developed my teamwork skills and it taught me discipline.”  Those attributes he believes can play a pivotal role in empowering the nation’s youth.

He added: “I believe sports is a way to address what we call deviant behaviour within communities and some of the challenges among our young people,” noting that coaches could be used to help develop positive attitudes in the youth.

“You are the most important persons to sports right now; you have a fundamental role to play; you are the ones who can positively interact with the island’s youth,” Minister Sutherland reminded the coaches.

He also stated that he would be taking a very “hands-on and active” approach to the affairs of the Ministry, and in so doing, will be visiting various sporting activities around the island to gain first-hand knowledge of sporting disciplines and those involved.

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