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Suki to push draughts through community

Ronald King (right) presenting a draughts game to Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley today.

Barbados’ draughts champion Ronald Suki King will soon begin teaching a number of young people from eight communities across the island the rudiments of that sport, and they will then compete in an upcoming tournament.

Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley made this disclosure today during the launch of the HIV and AIDS Block Draughts Project, which will be facilitated by King, the women’s champion Wilma Branch, and the youth commissioners and HIV and AIDS Educators of the Youth Development Programme, in the Division of Youth.

Lashley explained that the new initiative had two phases, the first would start tomorrow, when training sessions for the competitors begin, and the other component would commence on November 7 with the first round of games in the tournament.

Giving the rationale for the project, Lashley said: “Suki is an acclaimed champion, he is sought after all over the world and we are very proud to have him in Barbados. For some time now we have been looking to work out a suitable programme where we can tap into his talent.

“This programme allows Suki to teach the game of draughts within communities, but it [also] allows him to get involved in our Youth Development Programme.”

He added: “Suki is being retained by this Ministry [Family, Culture, Sports and Youth] to run the draughts project. There will be a contract

under which he will operate and he and his assistant will be remunerated. “This project is the culmination of a series of discussions with Suki and it is a fitting way of utilising our world champion and ensuring that the art of draughts is passed on to younger people.”

King has been the World Go As You Please Champion for the past 21 years and the Minister insisted that Government had an obligation to ensure that his knowledge and skills were shared with Barbadians.

King congratulated the Minister and his staff for working “very hard” to develop the project, saying he initially had doubts as to whether it would come to fruition.

Those communities participating in the project are Gall Hill, Christ Church; Lammings, St. Joseph; Ellerton, St. George; Jessamy Avenue, New Orleans and St. Stephen’s Hill, St. Michael; Haynesville, St. James; and Sherbourne, St. John.

The winners of the tournament will receive $800, while those who take the second, third and fourth places will get $400, $250 and $200, respectively. (BGIS)

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