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Apr 18, 2011

Crime Stoppers Football Tournament for kids

Basketball is not the only game in town and across the City at the MCC grounds, another group of school children are competing in a football tournament. Organized by Crime Stoppers, the two-week competition is intended to absorb the energies of the young boys and keep them away from the social decay. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A group of approximately fifty young athletes are resorting to the world’s religion this Holy Week as they participate in a tournament that will see them competing against each other for under-fifteen soccer royalty.  The competition, aptly titled Easter Cup, is organized by Crime Stoppers Belize to introduce youths to the anti-crime initiative.  Present at the MCC Grounds is a cross-section of students currently out on vacation from school.  According to Howard Oldham the ongoing event will accomplish several objectives.

Howard Oldham, Chairman, Crime Stoppers Belize

Howard Oldham

“We got a grant from the U.S. Embassy to make Crime Stoppers more familiar in Belize and we’re doing a lot of different projects and this football tournament is just one of those projects.”

Easter Cup, for team captain Kobe Dyer, is an alternative to spending his two-week break idly.

Kobe Dyer, Team Captain, Hattieville Government School

Kobe Dyer

“It has helped me from a lot of things [that can be avoided] off the streets [like] smoking and drinking, all the violence and fighting and all of the sorts.  [It helps to] avoid us and keep us away from those stuff.”

Isani Cayetano

“Coming into this tournament I know you’ve been working with some of your fellow colleagues.  How do you think you’re going to do in this tournament this week?”

Kobe Dyer

“Well [we’ll] do good.  [We’ll] try to win and take home whatever we can take, play hard and friendly.”

His mentor, Delroy Fairweather, is equally confident that the team will excel in the tournament.  It’s currently in the lead in another playoff.

Delroy Fairweather, Treasurer, Hattieville United Sporting Club

Delroy Fairweather

“We’re playing this Castro Cup right now and right now we’re in first place.  We have a lot of confidence in these kids because they come out three days a week to workout up in Hattieville.  You know, we keep them on a very tight discipline.  We liaise with the parents, you know, we try to encourage them to do the right thing and again, like I said, simple working out pays off because what it does, again like I said, in that cup we’re ranked at first place right now and once we play a game we don’t settle for nothing less than first.”

Beyond engaging teenagers in soccer matches however, Oldham hopes that they will have become familiarized with Crime Stoppers and its purpose to report crime by the end of their holiday.

Howard Oldham

“We hope that the Crime Stoppers program becomes more popular with the youth.  We feel like we can target the youth and do a lot more in the future than just advertising Crime Stoppers and so we have a lot of youth programs.”

Easter Cup 2011 was organized in part by the National Sports Council.

Delroy Fairweather

“Basically we were contacted by Mr. Reneau from the Sports Council asking us to participate in this Easter Cup.  We brought it to the members of our club and we saw it as something positive keeping the kids out of problem.  Looking at the roster it will definitely have them occupied for the next two weeks.  We had a meeting last week Friday [in] which we sat down with the organizers from Crime Stoppers Belize and they kind of outlined the whole competition to us and again, like I said, looking at the schedule we realized, like I said you know, it’s something very positive.  There’s a lot happening in Belize right now and anything we could do to keep these kids out of problems, you know, we’re all for that you know.”

The tournament which ends on April twenty-ninth is among a number of similar activities organized for students as well as at risk youths across the country. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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