Former triple Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee will be a feature presenter at the new Sport in Black & White Conference and Youth Forum taking place in St Lucia June 10-14.
Joyner-Kersee will top an impressive list of sports and youth development specialists converging on the Caribbean Island in June, to discuss pressing social issues and how sport can impact the region’s high rate of youth crime and violence,” said organizer and Saint Lucia-based charity, the Sacred Sports Foundation.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the upcoming Sport in Black & White Conference and Youth Forum,” said Joyner-Kersee. “Sport in general, and track & field in particular, has opened countless doors in my life and taught me some of life’s most valuable lessons. These are lessons I’ve tried to share with others throughout my life, particularly at the grass roots level.”
She went on to say: “I believe there is great potential to utilize sport throughout the Caribbean to get young people on the right path early and to provide tremendous business and economic opportunity to this region. I’m also convinced that some of the world’s greatest athletes are somewhere in the Caribbean right now, and given the opportunity, quality training and the proper support, they will accomplish some amazing things on the field of play. I want to be part of helping to make that happen”.
The woman regarded by many as the best female athlete of all time, will be joined by several other leading sports personalities, administrators and youth, said Chairman of Sacred Sports Foundation, Delroy Alexander.
Already confirmed are stars such as NBC/ESPN soccer analyst Robbie Earle and top English footballer Jason Roberts. Other high profile names from the world of basketball and cricket are expected to be revealed this week as the final event line up comes together.
“We are tremendously pleased to announce that Jackie Joyner-Kersee has agreed to present here in the Caribbean for the first time at the Sport in Black & White Conference & Youth Forum,” said the Chairman of the sports for development foundation. “Mrs Joyner-Kersee will address young Caribbean leaders on Sport, Peace and Community during a United Nations Development Programme supported day on June 13 that we are delighted to host.”
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), through its Barbados-based office, is supporting a programm in a bid to help tackle social and leadership issues as part of its efforts to address challenges to citizen security in the region. It will be joined by a host of other local, regional and international agencies, including representatives from FIFA, CONCACAF, CARICOM, the Commonwealth Youth Program, the International Alliance for Youth Sport’s Game On program, DFID, RISE, NYC, CSDA and the Ministries of Youth Development & Sport, Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs.
The Sport in Black & White Conference and Youth Forum is the centrepiece of a range of sports for development activities, organised by the Sacred Sports Foundation in St Lucia June 10-23.
The major new development initiative has been some three years in the making and has been designated as the Third Sport and the Global South International Conference, bring together leaders in the fields of sport and youth development, to tackle and debate a range of pressing issues for the first time in the Caribbean.
The aim is to create an annual Caribbean forum for change, which fosters input directly from youth, policy makers, sports tourism stakeholders, sports men and women, educators and corporate interests.
Working closely with The Centre for the Study of Sport and Leisure in Society at the Academy of International Sport, George Mason University, key decision makers will come together with local, regional and international experts and sports personalities. The conference will provide detailed strategic advice and guidance on key issues relating to sport, its impact on social development and the business opportunities that can transform performance.
“This conference is an important showcase for development and sport in St Lucia and the wider Caribbean,” said Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sport, Fortuna Belrose. “We are pleased to be able to partner with the Sacred Sports Foundation.”
Key elements of the gathering include the first ever College Showcase. Coaching certification courses will also be offered working in collaboration with the St. Lucia Football Association, The National Soccer Coaches Association of America and The Professional Footballers Association in the UK.
The showcase takes place over the weekend of June 14-17. Academically inclined players and officials will also gather to discuss the business of sport and link regional players with contacts around the world.