300 kids participate in annual INSPORTS Summer Camp

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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Approximately 300 children have embarked on a month-long venture into the fundamentals of various sporting disciplines at this year's annual Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Summer Camp.

The camp, which started on July 3 at the National Stadium complex, culminates on July 28 and will seek to expose children age six to 12 to sports such as football, baseball, basketball, netball, bocce, table tennis, softball and swimming.

INSPORTS — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — has been conducting this programme for close to a decade to ensure that the country's sporting talents are harnessed as early as possible for future development, while aiming to create a harmonious society through sport.

Campers are identified by Members of Parliament, with a parent or guardian granting consent.

“The challenge is mainly behaviour. The first week is usually the teething process as the children take time to settle in their new environment, while getting to know each other. After that, they tend to fall into line,” said Andrew Hancel, INSPORTS media relations officer.

The camp starts at 9:00 am and ends at 2:00 pm each day Mondays through to Fridays.

The children hail from some of Kingston's tough inner-city communities such as August Town, Denham Town, Mountain View, Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens and Southside, and are exposed to sports in an organised way while having fun.

“They are taught the fundamentals of how to catch a ball, throw a ball, and how to hit or kick a ball, and how they play together as a team,” Hancel added.

Majority of the sports are coached by INSPORTS officers, most of whom are also coaches; but qualified experts have also been brought in for baseball and softball.

Meanwhile, INSPORTS has taken all necessary steps to ensure the complete safety and well-being of all the children under their care at the camp.

“There is insurance coverage for all the campers in case of any major accidents, and we have contracted SureTime Medical Services with an ambulance and paramedics on site every day,” explained the Hancel.

At 12 noon they all go indoors for lunch, which is for an hour. Afterwards, they remain indoors and participate in a series of fun games and activities, with campers able to win points for whichever house they have been assigned to.

“They also participate in singing, dancing, drama and speech. On the final day of the camp there will be a closing ceremony where every child will be given a certificate of participation, while special awards will go to the top camper among other noted areas,” the INSPORTS official added.

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