These programmes are designed not just to teach young players the particular sport but to offer a holistic approach to youth development through sport addressing all aspects of life that contribute to creating effective members of society. More specifically, the programmes are structured to teach young players the rules and mechanics of the games, the principles of good sportsmanship, social etiquette and offer educational assistance through other YMCA programmes, among other activities.
YMCA Youth Basketball
This Programme caters to youth from age six to sixteen. It consists of weekly sessions on Saturday afternoons at the ‘Y’ and will include vacation camps, clinics and tournaments It is designed not only to allow young players to learn the game and improve their skills but also to help them to improve their life skills and develop the values and habits that lead to a successful life.
Carlos Moore and Adrian Craigwell have continued to work tirelessly with this programme on a volunteer basis also making personal donations to ensure that the sessions are successful and rewarding. In addition Dean Squires has now joined the team so that there are now three fully certified coaches. Mr Squires has also had wide experience in counselling having worked with Teen Challenge and in using sports as a vehicle for teaching values and life skills. In consultation and cooperation with the network of members and resources available to the YMCA, we expect to involve a wide cross section of youth to assist in providing a base for a future where solid mechanics and right attitudes work together to exploit talent to its fullest potential.
In addition, special sessions are arranged to deal with specific topics of particular importance and significance to the youth. In this regard it was arranged for a presentation to be made by a representative of the Barbados Youth Development Programme to discuss HIV/AIDS. Topics such as bullying, anti-doping and other off court development/social issues have also been tackled. Parents are encouraged to remain at the practice sessions and are involved in the discussions as well. The response to this activity has been encouraging and we are continuing to look for topics and resources to make this initiative more valuable to the participants.
Coaches Roberto Serrano Castillo, Julia Morris-Young and Carlton Sealy of the National Sports Council have over the past two years been coaching some young players in the YMCA auditorium. An important aspect of this work has been teaching the sport to youth from the surrounding neighbourhood. These youngsters have now been formed in to a team to enter the division 3 domestic club championships under the name “Youth Town”. As a developmental squad they are not expected to win the tournament this time around, but through table tennis they learn, in a positive, fun-filled environment. It also provides them with opportunities to develop valuable qualities such as self-discipline, self-esteem, leadership qualities and team work. Twenty children are registered and participate in the programme which runs from January until July and then again in September until November.
The YMCA is also used as an additional training facility for the under 15 squad who are preparing for the World Cadet Challenge, being held here in Barbados in October 2014.
The YMCA Hockey Club boasts both men and women’s teams and has had a good track record in local competitions. A number of the members have also represented Barbados in international competitions. A youth programme teaches interested youngsters the game through Head Coach Ralph Watson and his team of experienced players.
The YMCA Cricket Team competes in the local BCA Intermediate competition and is always on the lookout for promising young members to join the team. The YMCA ground is now also the home ground for the WIBISCO team so that the ‘Y’ sees a heavy schedule of matches during the cricket season.
Soaring Eagle Martial Arts
The Soaring Eagle Martial Arts Club (SEMAC) commenced martial art classes at the Barbados Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) during September 2013 under the direction of Chief instructor Jonathan Yearwood, 5th degree Black belt. The Soaring Eagle Martial Arts Club is an affiliate of the World Black Belt Bureau (WBBB) of Tennessee, United States.
The Soaring Eagle Martial arts club welcomes students from ages 7 and provides martial art training through graded examinations from white belt through Black Belt. Grading examinations are held every 3 months, under the reviewing Board of SEMAC.Students of SEMAC under the age of 16 can also enroll in our on-going mentoring programme. Under this programme students are paired with older senior students (of at least brown belt rank) who advise, counsel and encourage them to reach their full potential.
For further information on SEMAC, please contact Chief Instructor, Jonathan Yearwood at 432-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Ms. Orwyn Herbert, Secretary, at 419-0509 or email@example.com.
The YMCA is home to two billiards tables where members interested in this sport can hone their skills. The main weekly game for members in on Friday nights but the facilities are available Monday to Saturday to members wanting to shoot some billiards.