By JADE RUSSELL
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE kickstart of National Youth Month was announced by Youth, Sports, and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg on Friday.
The theme of this year’s event is “Youth Standard of Excellence.” Several events will be held throughout the country to celebrate young leaders and organisations that are shaping the country’s future generations.
“Over the course of the next 31 days, we will shine a spotlight on the standard of excellence that the youth of our nation have displayed,” Mr Bowleg said during an Office of the Prime Minister press briefing. “Whether it's excellence in sports, excellence in education, excellence in entrepreneurship, and the many other disciplines that we seek to recognise. As we celebrate this National Youth Month here in The Bahamas, I wish to advise the Commonwealth member countries that 2023 is also the Year of Youth.
“The government of The Bahamas, therefore, remains committed to ensuring that there's a standard of excellence as we empower young people and that there's a standard of excellence as we engage young people,” he said.
For her part, Sandena Neely, head of the Division of Youth, named several events that will be held this Youth Month. The events include: a speech competition, Chickcharney Chirren challenge, youth marches, substance prevention seminars, and more.
Ms Neely said added events will be held in New Providence, Grand Bahama, and throughout the Family Islands.
“We will be releasing a calendar that will have all of the other islands’ activities. We have just an explosion of activities that are happening on Inagua, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Rum Cay, Cat Island, all of the upper islands, no one is being left out this year,” Ms Neely said.
Chester Robards, chief obstacle officer of Chickcharney Chirren, expressed excitement to be partnering with the ministry. He said this event will assist in bringing obstacle racing to the forefront in The Bahamas.
“The obstacle course world is growing. It is now included in the 2028 Olympics as part of the modern-day pentathlon. And we have been working since 2015 to get obstacle course racing going in The Bahamas,” Mr Robards said.
“So, we're going to have an exciting course for them,” he added.
Mr Bowleg noted that partnering with organisations is crucial in the mission to develop young people into the best versions of themselves.
Officials said the beginning of Youth Month will start with a church service at the Seventh-Day Adventist church on Saturday.
For more information on Youth Month visit the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture’s Facebook page.