Captain Michael Jules with some the trophies won by Barbados Defence Force sports teams. (Picture by Maurice Giles.)
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He does not make sport when it comes to sports. In fact, Captain Michael Jules is so serious about the importance of sports in the lives of people that he is quick to point out there is a strong correlation between individuals who participate in sports, and the low incidence of non-communicable diseases.
“Participation in sports reduces stress and the risk of non-communicable diseases. Sports also develop motor skills and mind and body connection. Specifically for youngsters, it teaches responsibility, team work, focus, leadership, respect for others and gives one the desire to succeed, among other things.”
For the past nine years, Jules has held the post of sports coordinator of the Barbados Defence Force’s Sports Programme (BDFSP), which has been a highly successful initiative.
He has been credited with working closely with sports personnel to maintain and produce outstanding sportsmen and women across the island, and he is passionate about the role he plays.
Jules’ love for sports goes back to his days at The Lodge School, where he represented Laborde House and Barbados in track and field.
He has the distinction of being captain of the Barbados CARIFTA Games team in 1985 when the games were hosted here. That same year he earned a track and field scholarship to Jackson State University in the United States.
Having spent many years in sports administration, Jules seized the opportunity to apply for the vacant post of sports coordinator of the BDFSP back in 2010.
“I jumped at the prospect of leading such a programme. I was of the opinion that my practical experiences and background in sports administration, along with my theoretical knowledge, would serve me well. I knew of the legacy of the programme as well as its potential for growth and development. Therefore, I was enthused and excited about taking up the post.”
The BDFSP came into being following a dismal performance by the Barbados team at the 1988 Olympic Games. There was a public outcry for a more professional approach to preparing athletes for international competitions, and discussions were held at a governmental level. It was later agreed that a sports development programme should be implemented that would cater to 50 athletes across various sporting disciplines. The BDF was identified as the best organisation to manage such a programme, based on its logistics capacity and most importantly, the disciplined environment. (CH)
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