45 start Sport For Life
Stephen Alleyne’s rich legacy continues to live on.
Forty-five more children are set to have their lives changed positively through sport after the Sport For Life initiative launched yet another edition with yesterday’s opening ceremony at the Stephen Alleyne Centre at Kensington Oval.
It marked the start of the fourth year for the character-building initiative, which Alleyne, now deceased, helped to launch as one of the legacy programmes from the 2007 World Cup.
“He was adamant that this should happen as a legacy programme,” said programme director Kathy Harper-Hall of Alleyne’s vision for the initiative.
“The idea was that all the cricket facilities built for the World Cup be used for something else other than the occasional cricket match.
“He worked feverishly with a group of people out of England and together they came up with the idea of Sport For Life here in Barbados. The programme is also run in St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and St Vincent and the Grenadines,” she added.
Lasting three semesters from September to June, the Sport For Life programme teaches 45 children life skills and provides remedial studies in mathematics, English, information technology and conversational Spanish while coaching basic cricketing skills.
It was just one of the many visions of Alleyne, a former chief executive officer for World Cup Barbados and one-time Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) president, who had a passion for inspiring young people.
“He was a great man [because] it’s not often in your lifetime that you come across great people who easily motivate you,” said Hendy Springer, director of coaching at the BCA.
“Stephen is the person who motivated me to do many things [and] these young people will be the beneficiaries of Stephen’s expertise, love for young people, love for cricket and, most important, love for balance.”
Springer was one of four speakers invited to the ceremony that also featured assistant director of the National Sports Council, Mona Alleyne, and Alleyne’s widow Dr Yolanda Alleyne, a board member of Sport For Life.
Several of the participants’ parents also attended the opening ceremony and took part in a special session with the volunteer counsellors while their wards underwent a diagnostic test. (JM)