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Horne ‘elated’ to be selected for Queen’s Young Leaders award

Horne ‘elated’ to be selected for Queen’s Young Leaders award

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Having overcome homelessness and being involved in a gang in his younger years, local reporter Kenville Horne is overjoyed to be one of the first young persons ever to receive the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award.

Horne said that although he had been notified{{more}} that he had been shortlisted for the award, he never imagined that he would actually win. He added that although he was elated to learn of his win, it was with tinged with some sadness.

“On receiving the news… I became very excited,” explained Horne. “However, the vehicular tragedy at Rock Gutter… had an impact on me. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the deceased.”

The Lowmans Leeward resident said that he had seen a call for submissions earlier last year, but had only submitted his work with community youths after someone nominated him to the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme.

Horne started the Kenville Horne Sports Academy five years ago, using cricket and football to educate and teach valuable skills to disadvantaged and at-risk youths, ranging in age from six to 17 years old.

“The academy helps to avoid idleness and gives the youths an opportunity to develop skills that would be very useful to them in the future,” he pointed out. “The programme also offers counselling and advice on the danger of drug use.”

The 28-year-old father of one said that he wanted to afford these youths an opportunity to improve their lives, especially because he was able to overcome a disadvantaged background.

“I was able to change my life around by getting a proper education, and standing responsibility as a father… I hope my achievement [will] serve as an inspiration to many, both young and old, who are involved in youth development… and those who might feel like giving up.”

Horne admitted that although he gets great joy from helping the youths in his community, he faces some challenges in keeping the programme running.

He explained that he has had to temporarily suspend some physical activities with the group, because the Rose Hall Playing Field is not in a good condition. Initially, he had moved his activities to a plot of land near to the school that belongs to the Methodist Church, but said that he was barred from continuing this by church officials, because the group members do not attend that church.

Horne also said that travelling from Lowmans Leeward to Rose Hall is taking a toll on his finances, and recruiting assistants to take over when he is unable to attend group meetings is difficult, because people want to be paid or don’t have the time to spare.

He also mentioned that lack of group funding means that they don’t have all the equipment that they need, and are often unable to travel to compete in outside competitions.

“We have won various football tournaments, and take part in cricket matches… two of my players were selected in the past to trial for the SVG U-15 cricket team.”

Horne said that winning this award has renewed his commitment to helping these youths, and he intends to use the publicity to seek assistance from the relevant persons in helping him overcome the challenges his sports academy faces.

“I hope that persons in the community will realize that if they can only dedicate some of their time to youth development, the reward is greater than money!” he insisted.

Horne expressed deep gratitude to Anesta Rodney, Randy’s Supermarket, CCA Limited, Premier Distributors, St Vincent Brewery Ltd, ACTP, Ian Hypolite, and all others who have thus far assisted him with the sports academy.

Horne is one of 60 young persons from across the Commonwealth who will attend a week-long residential programme in the UK in June 2015, at the end of which they will receive their awards from Her Majesty the Queen, at Buckingham Palace.

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