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17 pass out of BDFSP

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

17 pass out of BDFSP

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Another crop of athletes is now better prepared for the world of sports.
Seventeen talented young sportsmen, including Under-19 national cricketer Marlon Welcome-Goodman, have further added to their skill sets after becoming the most recent graduates of the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP).
The teenaged athletes – most of whom are touted as future senior nationals – received their certificates and various trophies during a graduation ceremony at the Paragon Base yesterday.
“They get the opportunity to do some physical training and get them ready for the transition into their specific team training,” explained sports coordinator Lieutenant Michael Jules.
“The four weeks are good because it gives them the opportunity to really get to see outside the home environment. These are 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds and it would be the first chance to be away from their parents.”
The 17 sportsmen were split into two groups for the four-week programme, with ten cricketers grouped together for one course, while six footballers and a boxer had been put together for an earlier stint last year.
Both groups were then drilled in army routines and first aid practices before receiving sport-specific training that would further assist in their development as elite athletes.
“The recruiting standard has been raised and is now strictly centred on developing sports persons who have been to national trials or who have represented Barbados before,” revealed Major Michael Jackman.
“The reason for this is to ensure the best talent is recruited into the programme hence increasing our chances of success at the regional and international levels.”
In the presence of parents, family members and friends, the new graduates performed squad drill outdoors and showcased their new first aid skills before receiving their certificates.
Jules later said that the programme was going on an even more intensive recruiting drive, as it had proven to be vital in the development of the likes of West Indies pacer Tino Best and Olympic boxer Shawn “Terry” Cox.
“We have started to bond with the national associations, we’re doing a lot better and we’re going to have two memorandums of understanding with the [Barbados Cricket Association) as well as the Barbados Football Association,” Jules disclosed.
“We intend to do this with all of the national associations which we have their respective sports offered here because we believe we are working for those associations. So once we can bring in, through the associations, some of the best athletes that are on offer, then we believe it can assist in bettering those sports.
“A guy can come to the BDF, he doesn’t have to work, he’s given a stipend, he’s given meals, all of his medicals are taken care of, all of his needs are taken care of, so all he has to do is come and train and be focused on his sports.?And so I believe the better athletes will want the opportunity to come here,” Jules added. (JM)
Graduates: Akeem Isidore (boxing), Jamar Alleyne, Akeene Browne, Kemar Chase, Romario Harewood, Rashad Jules, Shaquille Stewart (football), Dario Boyce-Malcolm, Akeem Clinkett, Stefan Cumberbatch, Kyle Franklyn, Jamar Nicholls, Dario Seale, Dwayne Skeete, Kemar Smith, Michael Sobers, Marlon Welcome-Goodman (cricket)