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Life’s lessons taught through sport

Kenmore Bynoe

Life’s lessons taught through sport

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THE FOOTBALL and sporting fraternities in Barbados have been reminded that there is a critical link between playing sport and fashioning a successful career through sport.
That reminder was given by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who was delivering the feature address at the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA)?13th annual Awards Presentation Ceremony at Deighton Griffith Secondary School on Saturday night.
Speaking before a packed hall of footballers and fans including the Under-17 team, which left for the Caribbean Football Union second round in Jamaica yesterday, Stuart, in his erudite and philosophical style, pointed out that character, career, community, cooperation and competition were critical components that were developed through participation in sports.
While stressing Government’s continued commitment to football and sports, Stuart indicated that sports was not just playing a game for personal recreation or providing enjoyment for spectators.
“The achievements of the BFA in reaching 100 years of existence demonstrate the commitment and dedication of large numbers of persons over a period of time who made sacrifices and gave of their time,” Stuart said.
“Government is committed to sport and has provided the support and it will continue since sport is too important to be treated lightly.
“There is an intimate connection between sport access, sporting facilities and participation in sport.”
While the St Michael South MP and second Prime Minister to represent the area of origin for powerhouse Notre Dame indicated that he did not want to appear invidious in applauding the Dames and saying that they were the team of choice in Barbados,
Stuart would have been unusually lacking in perspicacity if he did not notice that the Dames captured the most money and trophies through Player Of The Year Kyle Gibson, Coach Of The Year Rodney Barker and Manager of The Year Jerry Yearwood, all from the Dames. 
In a tutorial that would have been timely for the Under-17 players, Stuart showed how success and failure in sport trained one for life’s experiences since in winning you should not underestimate your opponents, and in losing you should be able to look inward and determine how to approach the next battle, rather than blame others and become bitter and useless in the next skirmish.
“Sport teaches you how to manage success and to cope with failure,” Stuart said.
In a statement which can be applicable to all sports in Barbados, the Prime Minister said that through sport, one gets to understand the difference between cooperation and competition.
“Participation in any sport helps you to determine the difference between competition and cooperation,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister said that players on the same team would learn of the importance of cooperating with each other and channelling their competitive skills towards the opponents and not at each other.
Acting Minister of Tourism George Hutson and Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley also attended the ceremony, with Lashley earlier asking the footballers to keep away from illegal drugs and violence while pursuing the highest possible standards to maintain the support of the community.
Stuart ended his presentation by commending the companies in the private sector, many of whom were represented at the function, for their assistance to sport, which was invaluable to Government.