Dr. the Honorable Esther Byer Suckoo, M.P. Minister of Youth, Family and Sports in Barbados and the main speaker at a Corporate Dinner sponsored by Digicel which was held at Thamnak Thai, Worthing, Christ Church, expressed her Government’s gratitude to Digicel and John Barnes for coming to Barbados to host another Digicel Kick Start Clinic.
Minister Byer Suckoo told the gathering of business executives, Barbados Football Association Executives, members of the media and Digicel Staff that the Kick Start Clinics mean a lot to the young people of her country and to the development of football.
“I too share in your vision; the Ministry of Sports shares your vision – as does the Barbados Football Association. This is development and empowerment of our young people. They can see sports as a means to achieving their goals – especially given the huge popularity of football with our young men.”
The gathering was told by the Honorable Minister that the Ministry has been working with the Football Association and other organizations to use sports as a youth development tool.
“I want to thank Digicel. We have seen a lot of Associations coming to the Ministry because corporate sponsorship has been drastically cut, but Digicel has realized the significance of this to our football program, to our community and to our young people and for that I am grateful to them. As a Government, we appreciate that kind of support – partnering with government wherever you can, just to get our young people where we need them to be is crucial; we thank you.”
Also present at Saturday evening’s dinner was former Barbadian and West Indian Cricket Legend, Sir Garfield Sobers, who did not hesitate to praise Digicel for doing a tremendous job of supporting young people – not only in Barbados but throughout the Caribbean.
“Digicel is showing its commitment once again. Bringing a person with the standing of John Barnes to Barbados to talk to the kids, coach them and put them through their paces, I think it’s tremendous.”
Sir Garfield Sobers, who is regarded as the best cricket all-rounder the world has ever seen, had some words of advice for young people. “Our youngsters must be clear on what they want in life and that you can only achieve success and your goals if you conduct yourselves in an orderly way. You have to work hard towards your goals while concentrating on the rudiments of the game. You can never achieve success unless you work hard at it and do the right things.”
John Barnes applauded the BFA and Digicel for the splendid job that they have done in bringing the Digicel Kick Start Clinics back to Barbados. “This just goes to show the level of interest and how serious you are here in Barbados in trying to help these youngsters to progress. I am really looking forward to the Clinics as I know that the quality that I’m going to see will be fantastic. The message we need to give to young people is that desire, discipline, dedication and a spirit of togetherness – allied with natural ability -means they have the potential to go very far. It’s not just about football, it’s about life.”
Digicel Barbados CEO, Barry O’Brien, noted that Digicel’s involvement in the Kick Start Clinics is Bigger and Better this year as similar clinics will be conducted in Central America for the first time.
The Digicel Kick Start Clinics are on the second stop of a six leg Caribbean tour which started in Reggae Island Jamaica, last week (May 6-7).
In Barbados, some 40 under-16 players and 9 coaches are part of the Clinic which is taking place at the National Stadium on May 10-11. Additional players were invited to be part of the Clinic for the experience.
The Digicel Kick Start squad will take on St. Leonard’s, a top school team in the exhibition match tomorrow at the National Stadium from 15:30hrs.