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National sports groups to walk against crime in SVG

The SVG Cricket Association (SVGCA) Inc. on Wednesday said it will join with other sporting and youth organisations for a walk, this Friday, in solidarity against the involvement of young Vincentians in criminal activities.

“Recently, teenagers and young men, in particular, have been identified with a spate of violence taken place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the national governing body for cricket said in a statement.

“There have been varying sentiments about the actual crime situation in the country, with voices echoing alarm, while others opining a state of peace and security.

“Sports have always been seen as a great alternative to combat crime, a message that the coordinators of this Walk wish to reiterate and is ultimately the purpose of this activity.

President, SVGCA Inc., Kishore Shallow, said the purpose of the walk is to remind the nation’s youth of the opportunities that exist in sports.

“This walk is not only to declare a zero tolerance for violence but to fervently remind our young men and women of the countless opportunities awaiting them through sports, which remain a very viable option as opposed to a life of crime,” Shallow said.

Sports Officer and SVGCA Committee Member, Dyke Cato suggested the walk provides the platform to have a fit discussion on the gateway that sports offer.

“One has not truly exhausted the options of employment until attempting a sport or exploring the sports industry, be it as an athlete, an administrator or other roles, such is the reality of what sports offer today,” Cato said.

The walk has received the full endorsement of Director of Sports, Nelson Hillocks, President of SVG Olympic Committee, Trevor Bailey, President of SVG Tennis Association, Bryan Nash, President, SVG Football Federation (SVGFF), Marvin Fraser and others, the SVGCA said.

Fraser said: “The SVGFF is cognizant of the rise in criminal activities among the youths of our society and so we are delighted to be partners in this initiative of sports against crime.”

General Secretary of SVGFF, Devron Poyer has confirmed that the national football teams will participate in the walks, demonstrating the strong advocacy of the SVGFF for the end of violence, particularly by young people.

CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Andre Browne has echoed the support of his committee and pledge to be a participant of this purposeful activity on Friday.

Participants will commence walking at 4:30 p.m. from Diamond (next to Vogue Restaurant) and finish at Arnos Vale Sporting Complex.

For more information, contact the SVG Cricket Association Inc. at 456-6604 or 532-8894.

The walk comes one week after Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday led a similar effort, walking from Fitz Hughes to Kingstown to highlight high crime and unemployment.

This Saturday, Friday will also lead supporters of his New Democratic Party and members of the public in a walk from Georgetown to Kingstown to highlight the same issues.