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Jul 8, 2016

CYDP Hosts Summer Camp for Life Skills and Sports

Summer camps are popping up all over the city, but a camp targeting at-risk youths concluded today with an all day sports tournament. Organized by the Conscious Youth Development Program, the activities help in teaching the participants discipline and life skills. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Children under the age of fifteen from various neighborhoods across Belize City participated in a two-week summer camp organized by the Conscious Youth Development Program.  A majority of the boys and girls who are taking part in these activities are considered at-risk youths.  Their exposure to crime and violence to a great extent makes them vulnerable.  Working with them is a dedicated team of police officers and volunteer coaches.

 

Aldo Valdez

Aldo Valdez, Sports Coordinator, CYDP

“We have participation from six communities; namely: Yarborough has a team [called] Tut Bay, Kraal Road, we have a team from Pickstock.  We have a team from the Lake-I community and we have a team from Hattieville and we have a team from Mahogany Heights participating.”

 

This year, participation has been a mixed bag where six females are participating in two disciplines.  Chadwick Lord is among several teenagers who have taken up basketball as they’re sport of choice.

 

Chadwick Lord, Participant, CYDP Summer Camp

“For me I just have to try help my team win and go and play.  If I win [that’s good] but sometimes you can’t win all the games.  You’ve got to win or lose sometimes.”

 

Chadwick Lord

Isani Cayetano

“What does it do for you personally, in terms of interacting with all these other teenagers out here and sort of learning certain positive skills as you go along?  How has this helped you personally?”

 

Chadwick Lord

“Well, for me, the bigger guys we play against you get more experience [playing with] the bigger guys.  So I’ve already been through that and I play ball at school so, yeah, I’ve already been through that.”

 

The camp, however, is more than just sports.  These children are also being taught the importance of life skills and social interaction.

 

Darren Bovell

Darren Bovell, Instructor

“This is a summer camp that is held every year by YMCA and this brings together all the groups from the south side.  This is the under fifteen summer camp and we do football and basketball and we have on any day arranged for a hundred to a hundred and thirty kids from this area.  The main purpose of the camp is to teach life skills through sports, so in the morning session we usually do a lot of teaching when it comes to the fundamentals and life skills, you know, and then in the afternoon we break them up into groups and have them play games.”

 

Aldo Valdez

“Over the last two weeks we have been giving them life skills in the morning which entails conflict resolution primarily, anger management, self-esteem, and team work but we do these teachings through sports, these life skills through sports.  As Bovell rightly mentioned, we received training from candidates from the University of Illinois and we are actually incorporating what was taught to us in these programs with these young people.  They are actually brought together, they mingle together and at the end we actually let them play sports in the afternoon.”

 

The summer camp culminated earlier today with a tournament being played by the various teams.  They won trophies, as well as school bags and other stationeries. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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