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New Sports Facilitator Robinson aims to revive sports

Give sports on Saba a boost, motivate young people to be active, and get their parents involved, and intensify the cooperation with the local stakeholders and within the Dutch Kingdom. Recently appointed Sports Facilitator Joelyn Robinson has hit the ground running to make these ambitious goals happen.
“We want to revive sports on Saba, get the youth active in sports like volleyball, basketball, table tennis, soccer, swimming, softball,” said Robinson, who started working as the new Sports Facilitator of the Public Entity Saba in September last year.

Together with the umbrella organization the Saba United Sport’s Federation (SUSF), and with the support of the Public Entity Saba, Robinson aims to revive sports, and to work with local organizations that have sports activities such as Child Focus, Saba Life Center and the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS), “to get them together, work together and share ideas.”

Robinson wants to also work closely with the other Dutch Caribbean islands, in particular with the other two Caribbean Netherlands islands Bonaire and St. Eustatius, and within the Kingdom. “We have kids with a lot of talent, and they need someone to train them, and they need to learn discipline. Performing sports is not only about how talented you are, but it is a lot about having discipline.”

“It is a big task in which Joelyn will play a big role. It will take time and won’t happen overnight,” said Alisia Wilson, a member of the SUSF, who has been actively supporting Robinson in her endeavors. A new SUSF board will be formed shortly, said Wilson.

One of the first major activities will be supporting SCS’s Inter-island sports competition which will take place on Saba in the last weekend of May. Participating islands, including St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Anguilla and Saba will compete in male and female soccer, athletics, open water swimming and a run from the sea level next to the airport to the SCS in St. John’s.

On the suggestion of Commissioner of Social Affairs, Culture and Sports Rolando Wilson, who strives for improvements in the sports sector on Saba, Robinson and Alisia Wilson traveled to Bonaire from March 4-8 to visit the various organizations that are active in the area of sports on Bonaire.

Organizations that Robinson and Wilson visited included: InDeBon Bonaire, Bon Bida, Jong Bonaire, the Foundation Project Forsa and a representative of the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports (VWS). The visits to the various organizations served to meet and brainstorm, to share ideas and to further develop the network.

“Visiting the stakeholders on Bonaire was a great experience for me. It presented a first opportunity for me to build contacts. We got a lot of positive feedback, and they all want to work with us,” said Robinson. She thanked Commissioner Wilson for his input in facilitating the visit to Bonaire.

GIS Saba.

Alisia Wilson (left) and Joelyn Robinson (right) with Peter Silberie of InDeBon, an organization that caters to children ages 4 to 12 and also involves youngsters and adults in a wide range of sports activities.
Joelyn Robinson (left) and Alisia Wilson (second from right) with representatives of Jong Bonaire, standing in front of a mural that was painted by youngsters in Bonaire. Jong Bonaire is a youth development program which provides the young people on Bonaire the chance to learn new skills and develop their talents and interests.
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