CHLP Club Guyana officially launched
• To focus on youth empowerment through sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News
January 24, 2007

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The Caribbean Healthy Lifestyle Programme (CHLP) Club Guyana was officially launched on Sunday at the Mildred Mansfield Youth Club and its President Ato Rockcliffe disclosed that the focus would be empowering youth through sports.

Established two years ago, the club is the local arm of CHLP and is presently based in the City although plans are on stream this year to organize workshops and organize training programmes in the rural areas, namely Berbice, Bartica and the Essequibo Coast.

Ministers of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and Minister responsible for Sports Dr Frank Anthony, who were scheduled to make remarks, failed to attend. The programme commenced with a prayer by Pastor Ivor Peters of the Pentecostal Tabernacle.

Marlon Thompson, trainer of CHLP's Kick Aids Out (KAO) project explained that the concept for CHLP was born in 2000 during the Caribbean Netball Championships in Jamaica and now boasts a membership of 734 across the Caribbean.

“The teenage netballers were introduced to a ‘Breakfast with the Stars' programme which allowed the young ladies to interact with prominent sporting personalities. We are using Sports and physical activity to help in the AIDS prevention fight and you here should be very proud to know that Guyana's membership is the second largest of all the Caribbean countries involved,” Thompson disclosed.

The garrulous Thompson spoke about the history and achievements of CHLP and informed that Guyana was the first country to have males involved in the programme.

Nickoli Johnson reported on the activities of Club Guyana explaining that following the successful conclusion of two workshops in December 2003 and July 2004 held here and the certification of two Mentors and a youth leader during the latter workshop, the participants were encouraged to form a CHLP Club Guyana comprising mainly of persons who had already been exposed to the principles of a Healthy Lifestyle via participation in the workshops.

“Club Guyana was formed in 2005 using the guidelines provided by the CHLP Secretariat through its coordinator Mrs. Kathy Harper. To date over 120 young people in Guyana have attended at least one CHLP held between 2003 and 2006 and approximately 16 have attended the KAO workshop held last year,” Johnson disclosed.

He said the club has held a few fund raising activities adding that the Mildred Mansfield Youth Club in Durban Street is the club's new home.

“The venue is conducive for the hosting of many of the club's activities and affords its members the opportunity to relate to and work with a community where there are disadvantaged young people. Club Guyana is among the leaders among CHLP Clubs in the region and our ultimate goal is to assist in raising the level of performance of the region's young people and contributing to the positive development of our nation's youth,” Johnson stressed.

Dawn Braithwaite, Secretary General UNESCO charged the members to ensure the survival of the club by ‘planning your work and working your plan' at all times.

She said that sports helps in the reduction of crime and congratulated the club for their bold step; being especially high in praise for the male members.

“There are three types of people in the world; People who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wondered what happened.

Make things happen, work hard and try to make a positive difference in society,” Braithwaite urged.

The evening's programme included a melodious rendition of ‘Stand-up' by Abena Rockcliffe and an energized dance by Monique Aaron, Tiffany Spencer, Natoya Vieira and Natalie Vieira.

The vote of thanks was given by the club's President who introduced the executive members of the club to the audience.