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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINGSTON1884
2005-08-05 20:12:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

2005 CULTURE CONNECT SPORTS ENVOYS

Tags:   SCUL  OEXC  KPAO  JM 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS KINGSTON 001884 

SIPDIS

FOR ECA/PE/C/WHA/EAP RHARVEY, INFO WHA/PDA EDETTER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL OEXC KPAO JM
SUBJECT: 2005 CULTURE CONNECT SPORTS ENVOYS

UNCLAS KINGSTON 001884

SIPDIS

FOR ECA/PE/C/WHA/EAP RHARVEY, INFO WHA/PDA EDETTER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL OEXC KPAO JM
SUBJECT: 2005 CULTURE CONNECT SPORTS ENVOYS


1. Summary: PAS Kingston hosted Culture Connect Sports
Envoys RaMell Ross and Alvin Green. Four basketball clinics
were organized mainly for kids between 6 and 12 years of
age, although several individuals between the ages of 13 and
25 also participated in each clinic. A total of 240
Jamaican children and 80 young adults, mainly from
Kingston's inner-city communities, enthusiastically
participated in the clinics. In addition to demonstrating
the techniques involved in the game of basketball, Ross and
Green (who both recently graduated from U.S. universities)
"connected" with all participants, with whom they held frank
discussions about setting goals in life and achieving them
in spite of whatever obstacles they might face; the need to
stay in school in order to receive a solid education; and
ensuring a balanced diet to maintain good health. PAS
Kingston videotaped the first clinic that was organized by
the Jamaica Basketball Association and took photographs. A
young writer from a leading daily newspaper attended two of
the clinics and interviewed the Sports Envoys,
representatives from the sponsoring local organizations, and
the police. End summary.


2. Dates: July 27-29, 2005, Q4, FY-2005.


3. MPP Goal: Democracy and Human Rights (Mutual
Understanding).

This Culture Connect program enabled the Mission to
demonstrate to Jamaican kids - mainly from the inner-city
communities -- the valuable contributions that RaMell Ross
and Alvin Green are making to American society. The staging
of these free basketball clinics has strengthened U.S.-
Jamaica relations as so many young people had the
opportunity to enjoy the rare talent of two talented
American basketball MVPs and learn from their motivational
talks. Post was successful in getting young Jamaicans to
focus on U.S. society and realize that their dreams can
become a reality if they work diligently.


4. Basketball clinics were held at the National Stadium
basketball courts and the inner-city Kingston communities of
August Town and Allman Town. The newly-formed USAID-
sponsored Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) played a
key role in the organization of the final basketball clinic.
(PERF was established to improve relationships between the
citizens and the police in the inner-city Kingston community
of Grants Pen.) A Ministry of Health Healthy Lifestyle
Session that promised to be information and interesting was
planned for the morning of July 27 but had to be cancelled
due to the delayed arrival of the Sports Envoys in Kingston.


5. A young writer from the Daily Observer's weekly "Teen
Age" supplement (circ. 50,000) wrote a full-page article on
8/2: "I hope that programs like these will be successful
for the betterment of communities and Jamaica as a whole,
because our nation is depending on a better generation for
tomorrow". Participants were in agreement when they said:
"I hope they come back next year" and "We need more clinics
like these".


6. Agency Support: Raymond Harvey was in constant contact
with Post's Cultural Exchanges Specialist to ensure that
Post had the information that we needed in order to organize
a meaningful program for the Sports Envoys, given the short
lead-time.

The Georgetown-themed t-shirts were very much appreciated by
as many participants as we could supply at each clinic.
Such was the demand that, ideally,Post would have had 300 t-
shirts and 10 basketballs to distribute to participants and
organizers, but we realize that this was not possible.


7. Non-USG Support for the Concert: PAS Kingston
collaborated with the Jamaica Basketball Association, USAID,
U.S. Peace Corps volunteers, the American Chamber of
Commerce, leaders of inner-city communities and local police
to make these clinics a reality. In addition to staff time
to help in the staging of these clinics, these organizations
contributed sodas, bottled water, light refreshments and, in
some cases, lunch. This was a most worthwhile program that
post recommends be repeated on an annual basis. Regards
from Kingston. Tighe