Thursday, February 25, 2010


February 24, 2010

The Prime Minister, Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, today launched the Sport for Life! Centre at Arnos Vale.

Located in Arnos Vale’s media conference centre, the Sport for Life! Learning Centre will provide sport, education and healthy lifestyle training to disadvantaged children who are failing to reach their potential at school and in society.

It forms part of the Legacy Programme of the Cricket World Cup 2007 and originated in Barbados. Similar centres have been opened at the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Beausejour Cricket Ground, St Lucia and the Kensington Oval, Barbados in 2009.

The Centre will have an IT suite equipped with 16 computers and a whiteboard with projector. Children aged 10-14 will come to the Centre for a three hour session on Saturday mornings which will be split between learning and sports coaching. The learning component will include specially developed curriculum material in key subjects such as English, maths ICT and science, along with healthy lifestyle and leadership modules. Cricket coaching will also be provided in association with the Saint Vincent Cricket Association.

Sport for Life! Inc. is a Saint Vincent registered not-for-profit organisation. Initial funding for the project has come from private individuals, who are equipping the Centre, and Microsoft is providing software free of charge for Sport for Life! Learning Centres across the region.

The programme has the active support of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Commenting on the launch, Prime Minister Gonsalves said:
“I am delighted to be able to open the Sport for Life! centre. I believe that every child in Saint Vincent deserves the best possible education. By combining cricket and the chance to study using the latest IT equipment, Sport for Life! will give all the pupils who take part the chance to really develop their sporting and academic skills. This in turn will help them develop to their full potential and make a success of their lives.”

The Saint Vincent Cricket Association joined the National Sports Council in saying:
“Cricket plays a central role in Saint Vincentian society. Sport for Life! gives us the opportunity to expand that role and help many children in the country who could be making more of their lives. Arnos Vale is a tremendous facility and Sport for Life! will ensure that it fulfils its purpose as a centre for community activity as well host to world class cricket matches.”

Lord Richard Newby, UK Director of Sport for Life! Inc said:
“Sport for Life! has the potential to fundamentally change the lives of many children both in Kingstown and across the island for the better. We are immensely grateful to our sponsors for getting us to this point and will now be looking for additional resources both internationally and domestically, to enable the project to develop and expand.”