GIVE THEM SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO DO!
THE NEW PROVIDENCE SPORTS AND EDUCATIONAL CENTRE
A SERIOUS SOLUTION
FOR A SERIOUS PROBLEM
After school tuition and daily training in a range
of Sports for 400 students each year
Regular weekly sports for a further 2,000
Mentoring and academic support for at risk
College and vocational placement for all needy participants
First class sporting facilities, accessible to all
A safe place where a kid can be a kid
HOW IS IT FUNDED?
Through 100 Caring Companies The
fundraising arm of the NPSEC
100 businesses and organisations are forming Corporate
Partnerships with the Winton Development Trust
to establish the centre on 10 acres in East Nassau
Each company is asked to contribute between $4,000
and $10,000 each year for five years
NPSEC Physical Plan
the image for a larger view
DOES YOUR COMPANY BECOME INVOLVED?
By contacting Elystan Miles at the NPSEC Development office
by phone or fax:
394-2252 or 393-1932 (home)
Or by e-mailing:
I will arrange to visit you at your convenience in order to
discuss this groundbreaking initiative in greater detail.
Essential to the establishment of the Sports and Educational
Centre is the reduction of crime in The Bahamas by improving
the quality of life of Bahamian children, and nurturing ambition
by providing access to structured, enjoyable and meaningful
leisure activity within the umbrella of a unified community.
THE VALUE OF SPORT IN COMBATTING CRIME
Leisure is central to the quality of life of young people,
as a key source of friendship, networks and self-identity,
particularly in the absence of work, full-time education or
family responsibilities. However, here a distinction should
be made between the short-term and long term benefits of sports
and sporting institutions.
The short term benefits of sports are predominantly diversionary,
ie: the casual integration of youth at risk reduces delinquency
rates by encouraging the positive use of leisure time. However,
it would be naïve to say that sport alone can reduce
the levels of youth crime in society, although it can have
an indirect effect by providing challenge, adventure and meaning
to young lives.
In the long term, it is the environment surrounding the sporting
activity that is the predominant influence on the young person.
Sport delivered in a sound ethical framework can engender
self-respect, esteem, confidence and leadership qualities,
the presumption here being that the social outcomes of participating
in sport, rather than the inherent value of the sport itself
are the significant factors in reducing the propensity of
individuals (mostly young males) to commit criminal acts.
In other words, if I wish to gain acceptance into a positive
social group (in this case through the medium of sports) my
chances are greatly reduced if I am inclined towards anti-social
behaviour. Once accepted, the individual is exposed to an
environment that is one of encouragement and beneficial to
However, most large-scale programmes tend to have either vague
rationales or over-ambitious objectives (often motivated by
the need to impress funders with an apparent 'economy of solutions').
The idea that sport reduces crime is inferred and simply presumed
to be one of the possible outcomes of the provision of the
programmes. As such, the vast majority of sports programming
is diversionary in nature and does not directly address the
underlying issues of character and community.
If sporting programmes are to achieve more than simply providing
short-term alternatives to opportunity-led crime, their effectiveness
depends on whether they achieve at least some of the following:
Improvements in cognitive and social skills.
Reductions in impulsiveness and risk-taking behaviour
Raised self-esteem and self-confidence
Improvements in education and employment prospects
Most young people who are less predisposed to anti-social
behaviour develop these skills, to varying degrees, within
the confines of a supportive family and go on to better integrate
into society. However, the vast majority of crime and criminal
acts are committed by disenfranchised groups, particularly
those involved in the gang culture, a problem
that is becoming increasingly endemic to the Bahamas. Young,
disillusioned men who seek the perceived self-esteem and self-confidence
provided by the gang environment will commit illogically
self-destructive acts in order to gain or maintain the respect
of similarly disillusioned peers.
The psychological profile of the young person who finds himself
drawn to the gang suggests that young people do so because
they see few alternatives and would be inclined towards more
socially acceptable activities, if such were available. Logically
a properly constituted sports intitiative, based on strong
ethical principles would fill that need for acceptance
while also providing positive goals and constructive motivation
which would replace the negativity and desperation that comes
with gang membership.