‘The way to the top is to get off the  bottom and rise’ – A Ganar participant
February 5, 2013

‘The way to the top is to get off the bottom and rise’ – A Ganar participant

Graduates of the A Ganar programme have been encouraged to “adjust to changes and never give up on their dreams”.{{more}}

During a ceremony at the Peace Memorial Hall on Tuesday, 161 participants graduated from the sports for development programme.

Chevron John, one of the participants, in her testimony, called on fellow graduates to put into practice what they were taught during the programme.

John, who was on attachment at the National Parks and Beaches Authority for two months as a result of the programme, said she now has a more professional attitude towards the work force.

“I now consider myself a positive, professional and friendly person who will be good asset to any employer.

“The way to the top is to get off the bottom and rise. Remember your minds are like parachutes they only function when open,” she added.

John is presently training to become a masseuse.

She explained that there were many obstacles to overcome during the programme, “but in the end it all paid off”.

“We had our rough times. [There were] ups and downs but through it all we learnt how to work together as a team. We also learned how to get over our differences and to push through. We learned how to never give up on ourselves and to always set goals for ourselves.

“Some of us didn’t understand why we had to do sports. For instance, some of the drills we had to do; if you were there, you would have been like, why are we doing this or you don’t understand it.

“But in the end, it all came together,” John further stated.

Michael Nanton, executive director of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce, delivered the feature address at Tuesday’s ceremony.

“Having celebrated your success …, you must now turn very quickly to the matter of making decisions for the future. You must first and foremost embrace and display the highest standard of morals and ethics at all times.

“What you do as an individual and how you relate your work situation will follow you all the days of your life,” Nanton told the graduates.

Meanwhile, project manager of the programme Wayne Williams said A Ganar utilizes various sports disciplines to mould the character of young people.

He explained that the various components of the programme are essential.

“We think the model and the methodology of this programme is a good one.

“Definitely, we have seen the transformation of the participants from the time they entered the programme and the time they actually leave the programme,” he added.

He is also appealing to the local business sector to aid in the development of the programme, which, he said, assists in national development.

Williams said if the business sector and other local stakeholders assist financially and with their expertise then they can train more people to further develop St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Led by Partners of the Americas, A Ganar is a programme that uses team sports to combat unemployment among youth ages 16-24 who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Latin American and the Caribbean.

Through sport, A Ganar (the name comes from the Spanish word for “to win” or “to earn”) helps youth acquire marketable job expertise by building on six core skills: teamwork, communication, a focus on results, discipline, respect, and self-improvement. (AA)