MONTEGO BAY — Director of Crime Prevention and Community Safety in the Ministry of National Security, Courtney Brown, is urging young people to get involved in sports.
He said that sports are not just about fun and fitness, noting that one can also learn a number of important life lessons.
“Sports teaches us about life and the lessons for success – about falling but not staying down, that preparation brings success, and when we are about to give up, just as we think that it’s all over, a goal can be scored in the last second,” he stated.
He made the comments while bringing greetings at the launch of the Citizens Security and Justice Programme’s (CSJP) ‘Goals for Life’ football competition on Sunday June 5 at Jarrett Park, St. James.
Mr. Brown said the Ministry will be increasing its interventions in western Jamaica in the coming weeks, working closely with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) through its community renewal programme.
The Goals for Life programme was developed by the CSJP, as a means of mobilising young unattached males and engaging them in a project that will motivate them to pursue life goals, and to become agents of peace and community stability. It combines football-themed life skills training with football competitions, which are used as a catalyst to mobilise the youths.
With over 200 young people from 11 inner city communities across St. James and Westmoreland participating in the CSJP football programmes, Community Action Officer with the CSJP, Rebecca Gayle said that “it is hoped that the participants will take away much more than medals and trophies from the competitions, and in doing so, will have a new lease on live and be able to develop goals for their lives.”
She informed that through the programme, life skills workshops are organised to help the participants develop and nurture goals, adopt positive life-coping skills and attitudes, and to transition to training, mentoring, and job opportunities provided through the initiative.
Meanwhile, in an interview with JIS News, Oshane Allen, a participant from the community of Canterbury in Montego Bay, voiced his approval of the CSJP programme and the positive impact it is having on his community.
He said that the programme is “doing wonders” as it has managed to neutralise members of conflicting gangs and have them work together as members of a football team representing the community.
He noted that violence between the former opposing gang members are a thing of the past.
By BRYAN MILLER, JIS Reporter