PRESS RELEASE:-CASTRIES, ST.LUCIA (July 27, 2016) – Involvement in organized sports activities teaches invaluable life lessons to youth inclusive of self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, dealing with success, failure and perseverance. These are the pillars that the initiation of the Sandals Foundation’s ‘Game Change Programme’ was built on through collaboration with three-time NBA Champion, Dwyane Wade and his charitable organization, Wade’s World Foundation.
Today, members of the community, Sandals Foundation and Wade’s World Foundation were equally ecstatic to unveil and officially open to the public the newly refurbished basketball court in Castries, the capital of St. Lucia. The basketball court was deemed a necessary safe space for youth in and around the community who have traditionally used basketball as a medium of socialization and self-expression. It will impact 50 children, ages 8 – 13 years, by providing them opportunities through sports and mentorship.
Six-time national basketball league champion and current basketball coach and manager of Basketball for the Future (BFTF) program in St. Lucia, Ron Du Murville, expressed his satisfaction and gratitude for the initiative, “Basketball has always been a way to unite our youths, and allow them to escape and dispel any negativity they are facing in their individual lives. With the deterioration of the courts it was becoming an unspoken concern by our players that they may have to halt the sport and hobby they look forward to the most. Thanks to Sandals and Wade’s World Foundation we can now continue to build our teams and strengthen the positive values each player learns each day when they step on this court.”
The Game Changer partnership launched in 2014 between the two charitable organizations was designed with the goal to provide underserved youth access to planned sports, recreation, healthy lifestyles and family engagement as well as and activities including new camps, afterschool training and coaching sessions. Since then, it has impacted several Caribbean islands through in-kind donations of 400 pairs of basketball sneakers and sports towels distributed to young players in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos. Mentorship has also been an integral part of the programme with Dwyane Wade and his brand partners involved in multiple motivational short seminars promoting discipline and team work and engaging students on matters of their individual interest. An additional 100 children have participated in two weeklong football camps in Barbados and Jamaica as part of the overall Game Changer programme.
St. Lucia and Grenada are now the newest beneficiaries under the Game Changer initiative to each receive refurbished courts made possible through several partnerships. In addition to the courts, the Game Changer Programme will fund a yearlong after school and weekend coaching programme, mentorship and exposure to healthy living initiatives for the youth in communities.
School Specialty, a US based provider of educational supplies and furniture, aided in the success of the refurbishment by making donations of basketball equipment. In St. Lucia, The Ministry of Sports supported the collaborative project and was optimistic about the impending positive impact the initiative would have on youth development.
Sandals Foundation and Wade’s World Foundation are committed to the Game Changer programme that utilizes sports as an avenue to impact the lives of our youth and communities through consistent partnerships across the Caribbean.
For more information or to donate to the Sandals Foundation’s Game Changer program, please visit www.sandalsfoundation.org. To learn more about Wade’s World Foundation, please visit wadesworldfoundation.org