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Sports Programs

'Sports Enrich Lives' Launched

Saint Lucia-2009-05-14-'Sports Enrich Lives' Launched

Castries, St. Lucia - While the beautiful Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia and her citizens daily offer a welcome to tourists who come to enjoy her pleasant climate and beautiful shores, they are also working on improving the situation of their own citizens who suffer a high rate of diabetes and a rising rate of unemployment. Leaders within the nation are looking at sports and the benefits it offers as one approach to help promote healthy social transformation in a time of global economic challenges. St. Lucia is not alone in facing such issues, as many Caribbean nations are also searching for ways to improve the lives of their citizens in a time of transition.

The St. Lucia chapter of the Universal Peace Federation is active in building cooperative relationships in an effort to accomplish its goals for peaceful development. These efforts naturally found a partner in the Peace Dream Foundation, an organization that shares many of the same goals in its work in the field of sports. In addition to exciting sports events and professional excellence on the field, the Peace Dream is active in creating positive social transformation utilizing sports. In an effort to overcome the challenges that the citizens of St. Lucia face, the UPF agreed to help host one of the Peace Dream Foundation's  training programs: Sports Enrich Lives.

Sports Enrich Lives encourages people to look at sports as an underdeveloped resource, one that has the capacity to serve a nation in its effort to promote positive social transformation. For this reason, Peace Dream Inc. accepted the invitation of the Ministry of Social Transformation, Youth and Sports, the St. Lucia Football Association, and the Universal Peace Federation to present the dynamic Sports Enrich Lives program for coaches on May 12-13 and a Sports Administrators Enrich Lives program on May 14 at the Green Parrot Hotel in Castries, St. Lucia.

Sports offer the young and those at risk a chance to invest themselves, to build trust and teamwork, develop self-confidence and create a foundation for a healthier lifestyle. The Sports Enrich Lives program works to encourage and help maximize the benefits of sports as an instrument for building community and enriching lives through a variety of programs designed for coaches, sports educators and administrators.

The Caribbean launch of the Coaches Enrich Lives program provided coaches with an innovative program for developing athletes of all levels a way to excel both on the field of play and in the field of life. The Coaches Enrich Lives program worked to improve the effectiveness of both volunteer and professional coaches as the two-day seminar was attended by coaches representing football, cricket, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and boxing. Through constant feedback and active participation of the 32 coaches in attendance, the excitement of the interactions was visible. One participant, Alton Crafton of St. Lucia National Cricket Association Gros-Islet, recommended that all coaches in St. Lucia go through this program as soon as possible.

The coaches' program served to assist the coaches in their efforts to reach the local community with grassroots programs that serve to improve skills both on the court and off the court. Bringing such a wide diversity of coaches together to share, exchange ideas, and affirm common values provided an added benefit. A new sense of empowerment was felt among the coaches as they realized that many of their colleagues were also whole-heartedly taking on the challenges of coaching and that together they could make a difference in sports in their community and the nation.

The Ministry of Social Transformation liked what they saw happen at the Coaches Enrich Lives seminar and the May 14 Sports Administrators Enrich Lives program and, as a result, are in the process of proposing additional seminars for coaches, local trainers, and national level athletes and sports administrators. The goal of the Sports Enrich Lives program is to support life enrichment through sports, and that is a process that takes continuous effort over a long period of time. The Caribbean launch of the program was a great first step in that process of positive social transformation.

Sports Enrich Lives is presented by a team of professional trainers who are dedicated to offer a variety of programs rooted in values, virtues and insights that inspire essential links towards promoting harmony, success, and lasting happiness. Participants in the seminars learn to look anew at how to value, shape, and develop sportsmanship and character through the hard-earned lessons gained on the courts and in practice. SEL will soon bring its programs to Belize and to Trinidad and Tobago as part of its Caribbean-based outreach. Peace Dream, Inc., is looking forward to the continued close cooperation with UPF in these and other nations.


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