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May 17, 2019

Eastern Division Youth Basketball Cup 2019 is Launched

Today the Police Department officially launched its Eastern Division Youth Basketball Cup 2019 at the Yarborough Green Basketball Court on south side Belize City. The sports tournament is a community policing initiative that brings together at-risk youths from various gang ridden neighborhoods across region one of the Old Capital and fosters comradery among the participants in an effort to reduce gun violence and homicides. Today, a total of fourteen teams received their jerseys and other gears as the six-month tournament begins immediately. News Five was at today’s launch and ComPol Chester Williams explained the significant effect that the tournament has had on street violence.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We see this tournament as a way to allow our youths who have issues with each other to come together through sports and interact with a view to minimize tensions that may exist between them. And so this tournament has great significance for us as police officers. It is a way for us to also reach out to the young people and show them that the police is not only about locking them down and sending them to jail, but we are also about finding ways and means by which we can reach out to them and try to promote peace between them through sports. Yes we have seen significant progress due to these activities where if you would come to the games when they are being played, you will see that these young men—despite the fact that they may come from different parts of the city and may have conflict among themselves—that whenever they are engaged in these sports, they are very respectful to each other, they are very helpful to each other and they demonstrate a great degree of sportsmanship among themselves and a great degree of respect for each other. And this is what we want to see being done. We wish that we could expand across the country.  Most of the players from this side of the city, region one, are players who would be at risk because they live in these neighbourhoods and to some extent some are seen as being involved. I am not going to cast judgment on nobody, but I can tell you for a fact that as much as you may see it the way you said, this tournament has had significant effect on the street violence.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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