JIS News

More than 500 students from Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine took part in the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) four-week summer camp, which ended on July 31, at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.
A mini-concert and a special appearance from Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, and Michael Jackson’s brother, Tito, highlighted the closure of the camp.
The children were visibly excited to see ‘Auntie Babsy’, who paid the camp several visits, over the four- week period. However, they were even more excited to meet the brother of the late King of Pop.
Mr. Jackson praised the Jamaican hospitality and said he had been given a “new vision” of Jamaica, as he had not been to the island since the 1970s. He also encouraged the students to go to school and study hard. “You can do anything, all it takes is effort,” he told the youngsters.
During the camp’s closing ceremony, Digicel Rising Stars contestants regaled the children with performances of well-known songs, in addition to doing two Michael Jackson songs as a tribute.
Over 500 students participated in the summer camp, which saw them getting involved in basketball, cricket, track and field, baseball, volleyball, netball and football.
Assistant Administrative Director at INSPORTS, Dawn Heron, informed that 40 children with special needs also took part in the camp. “We have not separated them, they are in the 500. They chose the sport they wanted to be in and we put them in that sport,” she explained.
Miss Heron said she came up with the idea for the summer camp as a way to positively impact youths and keep them occupied during the summer. She added that during the period of the camp, various speakers came in to talk with the participants.
“We had the police, we had the Women’s Bureau come in and speak to the children. (Cricketer) Chris Gayle was here to give them a pep talk and our Minister, she hasn’t left us out. She has been here, not every day, but every day that she could pop in,” she said.
Miss Heron said she has noticed a boost in the confidence of the participants and that several were also identified for further training.
“We have identified several players from different disciplines. The coaches believe they have the potential to represent Jamaica, and so the coaches are going to introduce them to the feeder programmes of the different sporting associations, to see if they can take them further,” she said.
Participants in the camp were sent home with $1,000 book vouchers, school bags and a certificate of participation.
This is the second year of the summer camp, which saw 300 students participating last year. Next year, Miss Heron is hoping to be able to have students from the rural areas involved in the camp.

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