All had fun when The Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA) journeyed to the Checker Hall Playing Field in St. Lucy on Saturday, April 9, to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) under the theme ‘Sport 4 Community’.
This year’s event sought to introduce scores of teenagers in St. Lucy to new and exciting sports so that untapped talent may be discovered and encouraged to bloom. The sports included Basketball, Goal Ball, Handball, Tag Rugby, Badminton and Road Tennis. In addition to the sports, those in attendance had the opportunity to participate in aerobics, line dancing and Zumba, plus novelty events such as musical hoops, roller races and obstacle races.
In his opening remarks, BOA Secretary General Erskine Simmons spoke of the positive values that sports bring to people’s lives.
“Indeed, the primary concept of Olympism is to use sport in creating a more peaceful, developed world. It is one of the mandates of my organisation to promote Olympism, and thus today’s activity, which brings together over 60 children between the ages of 13 and 15 from communities across St. Lucy, to participate in various events,” he said.
The day’s activities started around 9 a.m. and ran until 4 p.m. During the closing ceremony, Director, National Olympic Academy, Vaneisha Cadogan, said she was pleased that some children found new sports that they wanted to play. “We know that some of you wrote your names down to play a new sport, and the representatives from the sport will be in touch with your parents to see how we can get you involved,” she stated.
Also present was the Member of Parliament for St. Lucy, Peter Phillips. He said he was delighted to attend the event and participate in the aerobics, line dancing and Zumba session. Phillips’ comments came as he too said he was pleased that the youth came out and were interested in getting more involved in sporting activities.
“Look forward to other opportunities coming, not necessarily in this district, but to other districts in St. Lucy as time goes on. I want to thank you, the members of the Barbados Olympic Association for gracing us with your presence and choosing St. Lucy for this activity,” he stated.
The children attending also had the opportunity to learn about the dangers of drugs and doping in sports from the National Council on Substance Abuse and the National Anti-Doping Commission. Some of the National Federations were also present, including the Rugby Football Union, the Handball Association and the Badminton Association. The National Society for the Blind demonstrated how to play Goal Ball, after which all the children participated, while the Checker Hall Braves assisted with teaching basketball.
Saturday’s event was in keeping with the BOA’s aim to promote the Olympic Core Values, introduce young people to new sports, and facilitate their involvement in fun and friendly competition in an atmosphere of peace. These aims are consistent with the objectives of IDSDP, which since April 6, 2014, has been celebrated annually to acknowledge the positive role sport plays in people’s lives, helping to promote social inclusion, youth development and peace.