Sport

Sandals Foundation aids 'Let's Play' initiative

Sanjay Myers

Friday, November 09, 2012    

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THE Sandals Foundation, in conjunction with distributors Wisynco Group Limited and soft drink giant Coca-Cola Company, launched the highly acclaimed 'Let's Play' initiative at the Jones Town Primary School in St Andrew on Wednesday.

The programme, endorsed by sprinter Yohan Blake's YB Foundation, is set to benefit 10 schools and approximately 5000 students across the island in its initial phase and is geared at encouraging physical activity amongst children.

Director of programmes at Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said the 'Let's Play' programme, which is already active in sections of Latin America will "foster good habits" in Jamaican children.

"It will help to foster good habits from (an) early age and also contribute to the development of physical attributes. It provides guidance for fostering healthy lifestyles.

"We plan to do more, and I can say that this programme will be monitored and then rolled out in more schools come March next year,"she said, adding that the Sandals Foundation has arranged for a Christmas tour and has plans to do upgrade work at the Negril Health Clinic and also to various school facilities this holiday season.

Blake, the Olympic double sprint silver medallist, said he could not hesitate to support the physical development of children, especially at the school located in the inner-city community of Jones Town.

"When I see this programme I knew it was good to harness their talents. I'm glad they are being recognised from early, and anything for the kids I'll be there because I know what it is like.

"The sky is the limit for them. It is good that this is also a school in the ghetto where sometimes opportunity is limited. The kids are the future and the kids are for today so when I was contacted I said I had to be here," said the soft-spoken runner after the launch.

Meanwhile, the school's principal Venece Bartley said she was "excited" for the opportunity to showcase "bright, talented and artistic students" at Jones Town Primary and had special praise for Clarke and the Sandals Foundation.

Teachers from the participating schools have also been exposed, learning a variety of physical education routines with the use of cones, rings mats and sticks.

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