Wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Allen is commending organisers of the Jamaican Advantage thru Sports for Youth (JASY) for their commitment to building positive behaviour among at-risk youth.
JASY provides summer sports training camps for economically disadvantaged Jamaican Youth from the Kingston area.
Speaking at the camp’s closing ceremony on Friday (July 12) at University of Technology (UTECH), Kingston, Lady Allen said the initiative, has positively impacted the lives of many who look forward to the event annually.
“It provides a fun and safe environment where generations of friendships can and have been forged, and there can be growth in character, skills, relationships, and faith,” she said.
“I commend the organizers for their perseverance in keeping this programme alive for our children, because it truly takes a village to raise a child. With your helping hand through this initiative, you are playing your part in contributing to the transformation of Jamaica and being role models in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders,” she added.
Lady Allen also commended the participants who were recognized for model behaviour. The students were presented with plaques, and medals in the following categories: Best Team Player, Most Disciplined, Most Respectful and Outstanding Citizen.
“Campers, I urge you all not to betray the morals and values that your camp leaders have shared with you. The values that have been imparted are what you will need as you prepare to make your contribution to Jamaica,” she stated.
Director of JASY, David McEneany said the camp was well attended with 160 participants enthusiastically embracing the positive messages being promoted by the initiative.
“We have had 2500 campers and volunteers that attend JASY camp over the years. JASY camp is a sports camp and it is all about using sports to reinforce good behaviours such as teamwork, respect, following the rules,” he explained.
Twelve-year-old Marcus Brooks who participated in the camp for the first time said he has learned a lot from the experience.
“It was fun. We played football, swimming, basketball… all different kinds of games. I learned how to be respectful, have manners and to work as a team,” he said.
Another first-time camper, Donjay Spencer echoed the sentiments of his peer noting that “it was nice [and] a lot of fun. I learned to work as a team and to help others.”
The camp targets youth between the ages of 10 and 15 in the communities of Riverton City, Seaview Gardens, Olympic Gardens, Waterhouse and Whitfield Town, among others. This year’s JASY camp was held at UTECH from July 8 to 12.
The programme is sponsored by the St. Patrick’s Foundation, American Friends of Jamaica and supported by several other local and international entities.
By: Rochelle Williams