On Target
April 30, 2010
More is never too much

There should be no let up in the social programmes which specifically target the nation’s youth.

With each passing day, there is increasing need to initiate, supplementing and complementing such programmes.{{more}}

And, indeed, sport plays a critical role in such endeavours, but that is not all there is to it.

Sport, which by its very nature instills discipline, respect for rules, team work and the will to achieve, provides support for the home, the school and the church, which are the main institutions for the teaching and promotion of values.

The more opportunities the youths get to be meaningfully engaged, the better off we all are. Therefore, the more social programmes introduced, the better.

In all spheres of Vincentian life, there are moves to get the youths on a straight and narrow path.

The current Sport for Life initiative, AGANAR, the Adonal Foyle Achievement, all sports-based, have been the latest conduits used to keep those susceptible from being eternally lost through the gaping societal cracks.

And, certainly these efforts must be complimented and sustained by all means.

The gradual disappearance of strong community sports clubs and other community youth based organizations, an almost non functioning National Youth Council, as well as the shift in the family structure, have given rise to the need for other support systems.

Let us not fool ourselves, present day youths are faced with many challenges, as many seem not equipped with the mental toughness to withstand society’s negative forces and fall prey.

Coupled with those, there is an obvious disconnect between generations, and the once bridging process between the old and young has slowly dissipated into anguish and ridicule.

In the subsequent outpouring of emotions, many of today’s youths, who deviate from good, are regarded by some who care little and many who do not have the will to bother as a generation of vipers.

Therefore, every opportunity must be explored to fill the gaps left by the failures of the other institutions and that general breakdown in societal values.

Then, whatever is done to redress the worrying situation, there must be a healthy life styles component to go along with other skills based focuses, particularly what is promoted by sports.

So, in our attempts to pull back whatever is left, and check the slide, efforts are to be redoubled to make use of students time, especially between the hours of 4 and 6 pm, when many are seen wandering the streets aimlessly.

Here, the members of the Department of Sports and Physical Education, in conjunction with national sporting associations, will be critical in making these activities meaningful and achieve their desired objectives.

This surely should be an immediate priority for those policy makers in the respective governmental departments, who are charged with such responsibilities.

Also, in all the ventures and programmes, a concerted emphasis must be placed on the development of the participants spirituality. If our aim is holistic wellness, that element is missing.

Maybe if this aspect gains greater importance, then half of the problems will be solved.

The efforts to save our young population from the vagaries of life, must be limitless and tireless!

History and humanity will be very unkind to those who sit idly by and do nothing while our precious human resource perishes.

Similarly, this column will not rest until that Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field is completely removed.

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