MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg is flanked by instructors and campers. Photos courtesy of Eric Rose
MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg speaks to the campers.
MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg greets one of the campers. Instructor Randy Cunningham looks on.
CAMP instructor Randy Cunningham, background, watches as some of the campers shoot the ball.
CAMPERS in action at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s Summer Camp.
APOSTLE CARLOS REID, far left, and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg, far right, share a moment with one of the campers.
CAMPERS enjoy the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s Summer Camp.
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#JUST before he left today for the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg toured his ministry’s youth summer programmes at the Tom ‘The Bird’ Grant Park, Yellow Elder School and the Edmundo Moxey community centres.
#Based on what he’s seen during his tour on Thursday, Bowleg said he was quite impressed with what the instructors are doing with the hundreds of youngsters, ages five to 17, who are participating in the various sporting and social activities.
#At the Tom ‘The Bird’ Grant Park, Bowleg met with the instructor and campers participating in basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball.
#He provided them with some life skills advice that he hopes would enable them to become productive citizens in the future.
#“Just to know that these kids are out here involved in some positive activities is very encouraging,” he said. “I’m just happy to see the many kids out here and what the ministry is doing to ensure that over the summer months, we are doing something that would keep them active and deterred from the life of crime.
#“We’ve lost a lot of young men to the streets by being involved in gangs over the past two years because of the pandemic and now with my ministry, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Services, we’re trying to make sure that we conquer the whole island so we can win our youths back through some positive activities.”
#Bowleg said he’s pleased that there are some qualified instructors, including Mario Ford in baseball, Eugene Stuart in volleyball and Randy Cunningham in basketball, so the campers will definitely be exposed to some quality instructions.
#“I expect to see some up-and-coming future stars, whether it’s professional collegiate players coming out of these camps,” he stated.
#However, Bowleg said it’s more important for the campers to be able to receive instructions year-round as they continue to invest in their future and allow them to take advantage of every opportunity to become better in whatever sport they choose to pursue.
#Cunningham, one of the renowned basketball instructors, noted that the camp is free and although they have not been able to utilise any of the gymnasiums, they have created a fun-filled environment for the youngsters to participate in.
#“We are having a series of tournaments and we will be giving out medals and trophies and certificates to all of the campers,” Cunningham said. “So please send your boys and girls out so they can have a good time.”
#One of the campers, Anton Adderley, a 12-year-old student of Uriah McPhee, said he was delighted to be a part of the camp where his uncle Anton Sturrup is one of the instructors. He noted that he was pleased to have met Bowleg, who took a photo with him and encouraged him to do his best. “This was my first time seeing him (in person) and it was good to hear from him,” Adderley said. “He was encouraging. I really like the message he gave us today. Hopefully, I can live up to it.”
#Apostle Carlos Reid, who was on hand tp promote his annual Peace on Da Streets Basketball Tournament, commended the ministry for providing this atmosphere for the youngsters to engage in.
#“This is a powerful tool right now we have to use right now,” Reid said. “Parents are frustrated right now. We have not seen the results of COVID-19. We measure it in terms of death and how many people are affected mentally.
#“But parents need a break, knowing that their kids are learning something and are in a safe environment at the same time. This is what the country needs at this time, so kudos to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for hosting this kind of event.”
#Bowleg said it’s just so fantastic to provide activities such as this to keep everyone, including the parents and kids, so they can unwind, as they focus on their mental wellness coming out of COVID-19. The camps at the various sites run from 9am to 1 pm daily.