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Brighton Veterans capture top award in JEMS/SEDI Sports Extravaganza

Brighton Veterans capture top award in JEMS/SEDI Sports Extravaganza

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Brighton Veterans beat out the Stubbs Bridge Boys, 2-1, to take home the top award in the 2011 SEDI Inter-Village Football Competition during the JEMS/SEDI Independence Day Community Sports and Development Extravaganza.{{more}}

In addition to the first place trophy, the team was the first to receive a permanent trophy that will rotate among winning teams throughout the years.

Under the theme “Rekindling Community Spirit through Sports,” the all-day event was co-sponsored by JEMS Progressive Community Organization and Southeast Development Inc. (SEDI).

“Football has returned to Stubbs,” announced SEDI President Albert Harry during the Extravaganza closing ceremony.

Harry noted that Thursday’s competition was part of a growing effort to build community spirit through sports in St. Vincent’s southeast sector.

Area representative Frederick Stephenson spoke of “giving the Stubbs Playing Field back to the community” and congratulated organizers on a successful community-building event.

Beyond competitive sports and activities, the event was an opportunity to build community awareness of HIV and AIDS concerns in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Members of the JEMS Youth Club manned an HIV Information Desk, and led question and answer sessions for children throughout the day.

Wearing masks to symbolize that “AIDS has no face,” the JEMS Youth offered opportunities for prizes to attendees who correctly answered questions about HIV and AIDS.

In a special ceremony, Canadian High Commissioner Ruth Archibald presented a cheque for EC$34,707.53 to JEMS President Rhonda Lee for a “JEMS Youth National HIV Prevention Project.” The cheque represented 90 per cent of the total award of EC$39,388.49, with the final disbursement to be issued upon receipt and acceptance of a final report. The grant was awarded through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) and will be used to strengthen the JEMS Youth Club and to extend the reach of youth HIV prevention activities to new and revitalized groups across St. Vincent.

In accepting the cheque, Lee remarked that “JEMS is very appreciative of this grant from the Canadian High Commission. We cannot overdo it when it comes to HIV/AIDS education, and facilitating and encouraging healthy lifestyles for our youth.

This award will enable us to strengthen our existing work with youth in the Southeast sector of the island and expand HIV prevention education initiatives to youth in communities across mainland St. Vincent.”

The JEMS/SEDI 2011 Community Sports and Development Extravaganza was funded by a grant from the United States Peace Corps and USAID.

Major event supporters included the Division of Physical Education and Sports, the National AIDS Secretariat, the Family Planning Unit of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, and local businesses and community members.

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