“We at the Sports Department cater for the development of sports in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Mr Hazel. “We do a lot of work in the primary and secondary schools. We also work with the non-governmental organisations and governmental organisations to assist in whatever sporting activities that they many require.”
He noted that when the People Employment Programme started there were a lot of young people who were interested in sports, and through its financial assistance over 100 persons are now enrolled at various venues where they are learning field, turf and facility management. Prior to that they were taught life skills by among others, himself and Mr Lenny Lake because they also need to know about budgeting and time management.
He said that the recently concluded Sandy Point Primary Schools Basketball Camp which was organised by Mr John Heyliger who attended the PEP training course in field and turf management was one of the success stories coming out of the PEP intervention in sports.
According to Mr Lenny Lake, the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association found out that there were certain areas in terms of sports development where they needed more persons to be involved, so as to build more capacity. They thought that if they join the People Employment Programme they could reach much more persons to assist with the development of sports in St. Kitts, and particularly football.
“We met with two PEP consultants, Mrs Celia Christopher and Ms Telly Onu, and we made a proposal to have three training programmes; one was to deal with field, turf and facility management,” said Mr Lake. “The other was to do with coaching and in particular children, and then the third one was to do with the digital media — building those areas of sports.”
The SKNFA sent out invitations to the various clubs to send participants for the field, turf and facility management programme that started in March, and 45 persons registered. “The idea was not only for them to be employed but for them to begin to have careers in terms of the different areas of sports.”
To ensure that these people received internationally accepted certification, the SKNFA called upon FIFA to facilitate two courses in June to deal with women coaching and the other one on refereeing, and all the participants were certified.
“The idea of the coaches in the PEP is to somehow assist the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sports with having much more persons to help primary schools, especially in the term that is now coming up in September to December where they have a lot of sporting activities and be able to partner in a way the Ministry of Sports have the capacity and have the resources and human resources to assist the various schools in their sporting programmes,” observed Mr Lake.
The PEP participants have been useful as they held an Easter Camp for children where they took the lead and actually conducted that camp with the organisation, the actual execution and oversaw their training in terms of what content they had to deliver to the children and that was a success.
Now in summer they are doing a six-week camp that is also being run by the PEP participants at the Basseterre High School, noted Mr Lake. It is held from Monday to Friday and they are the ones that are using their skills, their organisation and are getting the kids organised doing the drills, and the sessions.
“If it wasn’t for the People Employment Programme, it would have been difficult because we would not have the resources to run a camp for that long and with so many children,” observed Mr Lake. “So I think that it is a success in terms that we were able to partner with PEP, have these persons as a part of the programme of this nature and being able to organise and run that programme without the association having to look within itself to find the resources.”