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  • Minister Neita Headley, has emphasized the importance of sports and physical activities and the crucial linkages between these and good health.
  • The Minister noted that the health agenda had consistently emphasized the established links between physical activity and good health.
  • She commended the Association of Sports and Cultural Clubs of Caribbean Port Authorities (ASCCCPA) and the respective sports clubs and sponsors, on the staging of the event annually.

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, has emphasized the importance of sports and physical activities and the crucial linkages between these and good health.

“I have come to recognize more compellingly, the power of sports and the important role it plays as a tool for enhancing cultural diversity and fostering unity across borders of race, gender, language, religion and class,” the Minister said.

Addressing hundreds of participants at the official opening of the Whitsuntide Port Games 2014, at the Sunset Beach Resort, Spa and Water Park in Montego Bay, on June 6, the Minister noted that the health agenda had consistently emphasized the established links between physical activity and good health.

“There is no question at all that they go hand in hand. Generally speaking, the more physically active you are, the healthier you will remain. The two main target areas for the promotion of healthy lifestyles for Caribbean governments are in the schools and in the workplaces.  We feel that the message is getting through to the public when organized sporting activities are added to the schedule of workplaces,” she argued.

Observing that port workers are noted for their strength and endurance and natural tendency to become ambassadors for their nations, the Minister said she is pleased that the sporting activities of the group have been combined with social activities and adventures in Jamaica.

“We therefore acknowledge the tremendous value of these games as we continue to build strong bonds of friendship among our nations of the region. While the tours will be good for our general tourism product, it is also good to have this event as a part of our sports tourism product,” Mrs. Neita Headley said.

She commended the Association of Sports and Cultural Clubs of Caribbean Port Authorities (ASCCCPA) and the respective sports clubs and sponsors, on the staging of the event annually.

Extending the welcome to representatives from other Caribbean countries, Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Parish Council, Councillor Glendon Harris, said “it is good to see organizations developing beyond the mere production of goods and services.”

“To include the ideal of wellness and social growth programmes for the stimulation of interpersonal and professional relationships amongst employees is admirable, particularly because it shows that there are no boundaries when we aspire to accomplish objectives with combined efforts,” Mayor Harris added.

As part of its activities, the ASCCCPA organizes and stages the port games annually. They are rotated in the various participating countries and take place over a period of five days. On each occasion, there are over 350 participants representing the 10-member countries.