FINANCIAL CHALLENGES have threatened the Sport For Life Barbados Programme but its discontinuation is not an option. Director of the programme Kathy Harper- Hall yesterday met with the stakeholders at the KOMI boardroom, Kensington Oval, to discuss the way forward. “We have had a number of challenges with the programme but the main one we have right now is funding. We have called in all the stakeholders so that we can brainstorm to see how best we can come up with the funds,” she said. Harper-Hall told NATION SPORT it usually took over $80 000 to run the programme each year.

“One of the main reasons for that is the fact that we have to cater to the children’s needs individually more or less because it’s not school where you put the children in class and one teacher teaches 30 children, and those who hear, hear and those who don’t, too bad. “We do a diagnostic test with the children to see where they are, and based on their needs then we cater to that. We have to help them to manage the challenges that they have in their lives and we also have to feed the children as well as the volunteers and give them a stipend,”

she said. However, partner and sponsor for the past three years, Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, yesterday contributed to the programme’s continuation by donating a cheque of $25 000. Despite the challenges, Harper-Hall explained that through Sport for Life, which is a legacy programme of the Cricket World Cup 2007 to the harnessing of cricket skills while strengthening the child in academics and life skills, they got great satisfaction working with the children. “When we give them an evaluation sheet and we see what they write on the sheet to what they think about the programme and what it has done for them and future plans, we are satisfied. “They may or may not but at least it has registered … If they don’t do it now as they step out of the programme it will come back to them sometime later in life,” she said.

The course resumes on Saturday. Thirty-two children have registered but there are still eight spaces available. Those interested may contact Harper-Hall. (RG)

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