A campaign geared at raising awareness exposed young athletic footballers to the benefits of living drug free lives. The youngsters got a real glimpse of the negative impact of choosing a lifestyle of drug and alcohol abuse when they participated in the launch of the local Anti-Doping Campaign.
Having had significant success in international sports with athletes such as Kim Collins, Antoine Adams, Runako Morton and Meritza Williams among others, The Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis has recognized the importance of implementing programmes that would enhance personal development, assist young persons in achieving their personal best as well as uplifting national standards.
The SKNFA Anti-Doping Campaign Football Project was launched in November 2012 under the Fund for Anti-Doping in Sports (UNESCO). The St Kitts Nevis National Football Association (SKNFA) spearheaded this thrust. which brought the young footballers together for this sobering event. Other stakeholders jumped on board as well. The event was very interactive in nature and apart from presentations, the young footballers were involved in practical training on the field. Another phase of the Anti-Doping Programme in the Federation happened in September 2013 with “Levelling the Playing Field in the Secondary School Sector”. The workshop sought to train Physical Education Teachers and Coaches to pass critical information to youth between the ages of 11-14. The long term goal is to reach them at a vulnerable stage of their lives while they are still open to positive influences.The objectives of the local Anti-Doping in Sports Programme:
- Promote awareness among young athletes, and their parents, coaches and peers about adverse effects of alcohol, drugs and doping in sports. This encourages young athletes to adopt positive and healthy attitudes towards sport, as well as their day-to-day activities.
- Inform young athletes about ethical sports and the consequences of doping so that they can make informed decisions.
- Promote and encourage the implementation of drug prevention initiatives in sport organizations involving young athletes.
Three other Caribbean territories are also part of the sub-regionally implemented, project spearheaded by the Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) including Barbados, The British Virgin Islands and St. Lucia.
The longterm plan is to eventually implement this project in all fifteen members of RADO, creating a nexus between the educational sectors and Governments in each of its member countries.