News: USAID-sponsored Boys Training Centre hosts USCGC Oak crew for futbol match
Story by Staff Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes
GROS ISLET, Saint Lucia - The USAID-sponsored Boys Training Centre here hosted crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak for a futbol match today.
A team of boys from ages six to 13 faced off against a team from the Oak as well as other service members supporting Tradewinds 2013.
Prior to the match, the administrative staff from the training centre spoke to the group and shared their appreciation for the crewmembers taking time away from their training to spend it with the boys.
Representatives from USAID, the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Saint Lucia Ministry of Social Transformation, and members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force were in attendance to watch the game.
Comments abounded prior to kick-off, suggesting that the Coast Guardsmen had a size advantage. One of the young men from the training centre countered by exclaiming, “Size doesn't matter!”
This proved to be true once the game was underway.
The boys darted around the Coast Guardsmen as if they were a professional futbol team playing a group of amateurs.
The Boys Training Centre came out on top with a score of 7-1.
After the match, the teams shook hands and Mr. Mansfield Blackwood, a representative with USAID, presented the boys with medals of participation.
All participating parties then gathered for a light lunch, in which Oak’s crew members were able to sit down with the boys and talk about their life experiences, emphasizing the importance of good decision making.
“Today’s event with our coast guard colleagues is one that complements our Juvenile Justice Reform Program,” said Blackwood. “And it affords an opportunity for our coast guard colleagues to socialize with the boys and mentor to them.”
Blackwood stated that experiences like this give the boys an example to follow and offered words of inspiration to the boys of the training centre.
“If you can take hold of yourself, understand what you are here for, and try to chart a path to something positive in life, then that is what you must do,” said Blackwood.
The U.S. Southern Command donated 16 futbols for the boys at the training centre, which were presented by the attending crew members of the Oak.
USAID’s Juvenile Justice Reform Program seeks to reduce recidivism rates among youth offenders and to increase the chances for those youth who have had run-ins with the law to transform themselves into citizens who contribute positively to society.
Tradewinds 2013 is a joint, combined exercise conducted in conjunction with partner nations to enhance the collective abilities of defense forces and constabularies to counter transnational organized crime and to conduct humanitarian/disaster relief operations.
This work, USAID-sponsored Boys Training Centre hosts USCGC Oak crew for futbol match, by SSgt Earnest J. Barnes, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.