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Nov 16, 2023

The Importance of Sports in Personal Development

On November twentieth, the world observes World Children’s Day, a UNICEF initiative commemorating the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The day serves as a platform for children to address crucial issues such as climate change, education, and mental health. And every year, UNICEF Belize collaborates with News Five for a child reporter to craft a story for tonight’s newscast. Today, Lissany Castillo of Saint Catherine Academy spent the day as a reporter, focusing on the importance of sports in personal development. Here is her story.


Lissany Castillo, Reporting

There are a lot of benefits to sports, but there is one specific advantage that we don’t talk aboutmuch.


Sherlene Johnson

Sherlene Johnson, Coach, Stars Volleyball Gym

“It helps them mentally or to keep them mentally prepared as well.”


Participation in sports contributes significantly to mental development by fostering various positive outcomes. Sherlene Johnson is the trainer and coach for Stars Volleyball Gym. She’s been immersed in sports for most of her life. She says that engaging in physical activity, such as playing sports, promotes the release of endorphins, which serve as natural mood enhancers and help alleviate stress and anxiety. According to Johnson, participation in sports should come at an early age.


Sherlene Johnson

“One health, two, handle our coordination three discipline, four just to be active, just to be active. It helps them mentally, or to keep them mentally prepared as well off the court, on the court, at school, you know, keep you all focused.”


Lissany Castillo

“What are three positive things you would say to students engaging in sports?”


Sherlene Johnson

“Be disciplined. Stay mentally focused and to do your utmost best. To be great.”

And we also spoke to one of Belize’s greats, Kaya Cattouse. She is a well-known cyclist and says that sports has made her the person she is today. Cattouse says that the commitment and regular practice required in sports cultivate discipline and effective time management skills.


Kaya Cattouse

Kaya Cattouse, Cyclist

“Sport has been something I’ve been doing pretty much all my life. Ever since my school days, it has been something that I have enjoyed. It has taken me all over the world, places that I probably would have never been had I not been involved in sports. It has allowed me to meet new people from all over the world as well. And, it has just allowed me to grow into the person that I am today. Getting involved in sports at a young age really teaches discipline, coordination, cooperation. It gives children, it teaches them values. You know, it allows them to want to be a part of something greater than just themselves.”


Success and improvement in sports contribute to heightened self-esteem and confidence, positively shaping an individual’s self-perception. Team sports, in particular, facilitate the development of crucial social skills like communication, teamwork, and cooperation. And these are some of the qualities that volleyball MVPs Akilli Jones and Zanyah Hall, who attend Saint Catherine Academy, continue to build.


Lissany Castillo

“What do you love about sports?”

Akilli Jones

Akilli Jones, Student, Saint Catherine Academy

“The diversity, the sportsmanship, the kindness that is shared between players.Just general, the volleyball community and all sports community.”


Zanyah Hall

Zanyah Hall, Student, Saint Catherine’s Academy

“Well, for me personally, it’s getting together with different people, you know, meeting new people and making great bonds that could last forever.”


Akilli Jones

“It’s a very good way to manage your time, you know. Having to practice every day while doing schoolwork kind of gives you time to manage your time.”


Zanyah Hall

“Well, I think kids could play sports for discipline. Because, especially in Belize, we need a lot of discipline with the youths and so they can stay out of trouble.”


Dealing with challenges, setbacks, and failures in sports fosters resilience and perseverance, instilling a resilient mindset applicable in various life situations. Sports enhance cognitive functions such as concentration, memory, and decision-making through strategic thinking and quick decision-making requirements during games. Elton Anderson is the coach at Saint John’s College.


Elton Anderson

Elton Anderson, Coach, Saint John’s College

“Well, I believe kids are supposed to participate in sporting activities at a very young age because it helps mold them into future athletes. In the initial stage, it’s good for kids to get involved so that they can learn the basic concept of the sport as opposed to reaching high school and then just start, and then just start playing.”


Lissany Castillo

What are three positive things you would say to students regarding, engaging in sport?


Elton Anderson

“Stay positive. Be a good sportsman, whether you win or lose, and just have fun every time you’re on the court.”



Reporting for News Five, I am Lissany Castillo.

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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