Statement

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture
Department of Youth Affairs and Sports
Topics: 
Youth Affairs
Release Date:
Monday, 19 April 2021 - 12:27pm

REMARKS BY DEPUTY PREMIER AND MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, CULTURE, YOUTH AFFAIRS, FISHERIES AND AGRICULTURE

DR. THE HONOURABLE NATALIO D. WHEATLEY

AT THE SEVENTH SITTING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE

FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2021

UPDATE ON YOUTH AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

Mister Speaker, I take this opportunity to update this Honourable House on the Ministry’s efforts in youth and sports development in the Territory.

I am very pleased, Mister Speaker, to announce that the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports’ long planned Be YOUth Centre (BYC), was launched on Friday 9th April, 2021. The Centre is a centralised, dedicated and safe space focused on meeting the needs of our youth.  It consists of three rooms housed on the second floor of the Ward’s Building. The first room functions as a general room or lounge where less formal activities may take place and is outfitted with vibrant modular furniture, computers, laptops, a network printer and smart television. The second room, the BYC Studio, functions as a video and audio studio as well as a small meeting room and is equipped with state of the art equipment.  Finally, the third space is a Locker Room for registered users of the Centre to safely store their belongings while they use the space.  

Mister Speaker, it must be noted here that the Be YOUth Centre’s launch was due to tremendous support from businesses in the community. From the inception of the idea of a BYC, the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports (DYAS) fostered partnerships with private enterprises in the community to acquire the necessary services and tools needed to establish the Centre. At the time of the launch, 14 businesses had committed services and equipment ranging from interior design, to computers, paint supplies and storage lockers, digital mixers, to electrical and lighting materials and workmen to ensure that the work was done safely and at a high standard.  An electronic key system to ensure the security of users within the centre was also sponsored.

Mister Speaker, the generosity of our business community must be acknowledged, so please indulge me while I share who they are:

Sponsors

DIGICEL

Ms. Maria Samaniego                       

Enrique Esteban Interiors

Mr. Tejon E.K. Forbes

STO Enterprises

Mr. Dion Stoutt

Autland Heavy Equipment

Mr. Dion Crabbe

Quality Construction

Mr. Roy Garraway

Quality Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Mr. Kelvin Thomas

Metro Construction

Mr. Brian Marshall

Sabals Law

Ms. Anthea Smith

BrivaDerm Dermatology Suite and MediSpa

Dr.  Shakima Stoutt-Ottley

Island Services (BVI) Ltd.

Mrs. Nelda Farrington-Brydon

Paint Factory

Ms. Shalina Pickering

House of Luxury

Mr. Sanjay Surtani

Unite BVI Foundation

Dr.  Sauda Smith

SAID Department Store

Mr.  Mahde Said

Minister for Health & Territorial Representative

Hon. Carvin Malone

Advertise It BVI

Mr. Craig Lake

Beyond the Décor

Ms. Shaunice Leonard

iSMART

Mr. Bashaar Tarabay

Vector Stars

Mr. Michael Joose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mister Speaker, the end goal of the Be YOUth Centre is to produce empowered, creative, young entrepreneurs. It also aims to ensure our young people win at life. Programmes will be offered in professional development and job readiness, independence through entrepreneurship, music production, coding, app development and innovation. Programmes will also be offered to help our youth win at life and include areas like life skills, civics, public speaking, lifestyle, money management and conflict resolution. An avenue for discussion on issues/concerns that directly impact youth, forums for the discussion of solutions and advocacy for change will also be provided. Registered users will have access to all these programmes.

Mister Speaker, the Be YOUth Centre will operate Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., allowing for our professional youth to access the services after hours. Programmes are scheduled to commence on Monday 3rd May, 2021.

Mister Speaker registration for the Be YOUth Centre is now open, and youth between ages 15 to 29 are encouraged to take advantage of the many programmes and courses that will be offered. A monthly fee of $10.00 is required. Registration forms may be found on the Government’s website on the DYAS page, on the DYAS Facebook Page - DYAS BVI or may be collected at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, located on the second floor of the Ward’s Building.  If anyone needs more information, contact can be made with Mrs. Desiree Flanders-Harrigan, Programme Officer for Youth.

Mister Speaker, at this point, I must commend the director and her team for their commitment and determination in ensuring that the BE YOUth Centre became a reality. The journey of the Centre, shared by Mrs. Lettsome-Tye at the launch, showed that despite all the obstacles, including hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic, DYAS was determined to provide the youth of the Territory with a safe and secure space to develop and grow.

Turning to sports, Mister Speaker, even with all the challenges imposed by the pandemic, the Department of Youth Affairs continues to provide opportunities for sports and recreation within the Territory.

Mister Speaker on 12th March, 2021, the Department presented a modified Inter-Primary School Sports Championships in which 17 schools participated. Due to concerns with social distancing, a maximum of eight athletes were allowed from each school. After a day of intense competition, the Joyce Samuel Primary School emerged as the winner. History was made that day as it was the first time Joyce Samuel Primary School won the title.

Mister Speaker, not to be left behind, the Inter-Secondary School Championships are planned for the 5th May, 2021 and all secondary schools are invited to furnish a team. This championship will follow a similar structure as its primary counterpart. I invite everyone to support the schools while adhering to the protocols in place.

Mister Speaker, I am pleased to share that the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports is still able to engage our community in being active. Within these first four months of 2021, they have provided two such opportunities for the community through Industrial Leagues. The DYAS Industrial Bowling League commenced on 22nd February, 2021 with a total of 14 teams. Just a week ago, the league concluded with the championships, and the ATU Jammers emerged as champions.

Mister Speaker, the Industrial Softball League commenced just two nights ago on 13th April, with a roster of fourteen teams. The League will run for a total of six weeks. Again, we invite everyone to support the teams while adhering to the protocols.

Also on the topic of sports, Mister Speaker, strides are being made in the establishment of the National Sports Council. Currently, the Ministry is in collaboration with the BVI Olympic Committee in the delivery of a working document that should speak to the organisation of local sports, a level of accountability for Government resources, cooperation among the sporting bodies and associations as it relates to use of facilities, resources and initiatives, looking at the road to sports tourism and the development of new sporting facilities and new areas of interest in sports. This will become the basis for the establishment of the National Sports Council, and I anticipate that by September we will be in the final stages of its establishment.

On the topic of Arts and Culture, Mister Speaker, after an outstanding inaugural Qua-rap-tine Battle in 2020, the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports is presenting its Qua-rap-tine Battle, Second Edition. The competition will begin on 30th April with a total of 12 competitors with championships slated for 21st May.

Mister Speaker, I must acknowledge our young people who are making a name for themselves around the world.  Athletes like Adejah Hodge and Rikkoi Braithwaite continue to make us proud.  Adejah continues to dominate her respective events as a high schooler in Georgia, USA, and Rikkoi’s accomplishments, including winning a bronze medal at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and being named Big 10 Track Athlete of the Year, are well documented.  We look forward to the Olympics where Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster, Eldred Henry, Ashley Kelly, and potentially others will do something special.  I also want to recognise Rhakim Todman, a sound engineer, who has been working with some of the best musical artists in the world.  Everything he touches turns to gold, and as a result, everyone around the world is saying, “Celeb, press the button!”

Finally, Mister Speaker, let me take this opportunity to commend the Director of Youth Affairs and Sports, Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye and her small but powerful team on their commitment and the creative ways in which they have continued to positively develop our youth and sports during these changing and challenging times. I fully support the work of the Department, and I look forward to its continued efforts on behalf of youth and sports in the Territory. 

Thank you Mister Speaker.