Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Stephen Lashley, has called on the student body of the Springer Memorial Secondary School to showcase sports as being a deterrent factor to negative behaviour.
Lashley made the call this morning while welcoming ten-time Olympic gold-medal winning legend, Carl Lewis, at a special assembly at the Government Hill institution. Three of the school’s top athletes, Jalicia Neil, Kylia Smith and Jade Searles were awarded scholarships at Butler College, Kansas, while Kemar Cumberbatch of Queen’s College was awarded an athletic scholarship to Alcorn State University, Mississippi.
While noting that in another two months millions of people around the world would have their eyes glued to television sets to watch the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, Lashley said the bigger picture was that sports brought people together even amidst the rivalry that might take place.
Highlighting the role sports played in a world torn by warfare and terrorism, the Chrsit Church West Central MP argued that sports was a symbol of peace.
Referring to a recent photo which was carried on social media where young men were seen displaying guns at a social event, Lashley told the assembly that even as the country had the troubling issue of some young people being so bold to display weapons on the internet, he wanted the students to reject all violence.
Lashley said: “Reject those who are involved in gunpaly and demonstrate that through the prowess of sports you can uplift the world.”
Earlier, Lashley lauded the effort being made by principal of the school, Pauline Benjamin, in instilling discipline in the students, noting that the students’ skirts were all below the knee. At a time when there is much discussion on deviance among the youth, Lashley said he did not want any “bashment” in the school.
Noting that over the years the school had excelled in the annual school sports, Lashley told the assembly that he would be making a suggestion to Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, that the school be designated a school of athletic excellence.
Meanwhile, in a brief address Lewis exhorted the students to strive for excellence in whatever field of endeavour they might pursue in life.
“You must set goals. Set your goals for the stars because if you fail to reach the stars you may end up on the moon. Set your goals high, try to aspire to be the best you can be. Challenge yourselves to be excellent because you would be able to look back and say you would have done all you could have possibly done,” Lewis said.
Referring to the two female executives who spoke on behalf of the sponsors of the school, Kim Stanton of the Bank of Nova Scotia and Michelle Lashley of Bryden Stokes, Lewis told the student body that those two ladies should inspire them to be the best they could be.