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BABA, BFA join youth project


EZRA STUART

BABA, BFA join youth project

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BASKETBALL will now get a bigger bounce and football will have an even greater kick in the communities.

Yesterday, the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) and the Barbados Football Association (BFA) formed a new partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports by signing onto the National Community Sports Training Programme.

BABA president Derrick Garrett signed a memorandum of understanding at the official launch of the 2014-15 programme at the Barbados Community College’s gymnasium.

In the presence of Minister of Sport and Youth Stephen Lashley, Director of Youth Cleviston Hunte signed the document on behalf of the Division of Youth and Sports.

This was followed by presentation of balls by BABA vice-president Charles Griffith and  the new technical director of the BFA, Brazilian Marcos Falopa, to two of coaches who will be working with the Youth Development Programme (YDP).

Lashley said the programme had grown over the years and this was reflected in the formation of  sports clubs where teams have entered community and national competitions while untapped sporting talent has been unearthed in the various disciplines. 

“This is what our mandate in the Ministry of Youth is about – facilitating the needs and aspirations of our young people, and we all know that sports is a key element in the interest and development of Barbadian youth,” Lashley said.

He said sports development went beyond the technical skills imparted and developed and was part of the greater national development for young people and the country.

“The National Youth Policy speaks to the development of sports as an industry that creates employment and wealth for athletes. So as participants in Ellerton, Chalky Mount, Silver Hill, New Orleans or Sion Hill and all the other communities across Barbados develop their skill and improve on their technique, please understand that you could also be building the steps towards your career in sports,” the minister said.

He said the YDP’s National Community Sports Training Programme, which specifically works in the community, along with the programmes of the National Sports Council, were all important cogs in the wheel of pursuing sporting excellence for its people and emerging industry. 

Lashley said he was pleased to see how the programme was moving towards building partnerships with established organisations, such as the BFA and BABA.

“This will ensure greater reach, more involvement of young people and further strengthening of our sporting bodies,” he said.

BFA senior vice-president Al Walcott noted that while the association has already launched a three-year grassroots programme with assistance from the world governing body, FIFA, the partnership with the YDP would get the sport into the communities even more.

An HIV and AIDS programme will also be facilitated as part of the YDP’s commitment to sensitising young people about the virus. 

Around 1 000 participants have registered for the programme, which will include basketball, football, netball, cricket, martial arts, road tennis and volleyball.

Training will be held at facilities across the various communities in Barbados within easy reach of participants, who will be supervised by experienced  coaches and youth commisioners from within the Division of Youth.

The programme will start on Monday. It will conclude with a rally in February 2015.

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