The David Thompson Memorial Constituency Council Football Classic has been hailed as “the perfect recipe between sports and community activism”.
So said Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, who explained that the tournament, now in its third year, provided a stimulus to various members of communities across Barbados.
His comments came as he addressed the media during the launch of the 2013 edition of the tournament, at the Warrens Office Complex, on Friday.
Blackett noted: “We have witnessed the untapping of hidden gems; young footballers who would not normally be seen on a national stage, being identified and sought after by Premier League Teams. I am also advised that scouts have taken notice and some of these footballers have been identified as possible recipients for football scholarships.”
He added that other areas which had received immediate stimulus from the tournament included opportunities for entrepreneurial activity such as vending, and the building of stronger communities through the leadership of community practitioners.
Minister Blackett reasoned that the annual tournament had received “buy-in” from the public, as Barbadians considered it to be “their own tournament manned by their people”. He also pointed out that reports indicated that the tournament had ushered in a new and exciting era in community sports, and had reignited the dwindling community spirit.
He further implored local businesses to “hold hands” with the Ministry, as they utilised the tournament to empower individuals and communities. “An investment in the youth in our communities is an investment in a stable, productive and prosperous Barbados,” the Minister asserted.
This year’s tournament will begin on Sunday, September 22, with an opening ceremony at the Gall Hill playing field, St. John. The finals will be held at Kensington Oval on Sunday, December 15. (BGIS)