Vox pop for Western Focus
BAMBOO, St Ann:
Spirits are high in the community of Bamboo in St Ann after the Bamboo Police Youth Club (PYC) defeated its Runaway Bay counterpart in the finals of the Keemo Walsh Debating Competition recently at the Gran BahÌa PrÌncipe Hotel in Runaway Bay.
In a keenly contested finals, Bamboo emerged 253-251 winners, proposing the moot 'Be it resolved that abortion should be legalised'. The competition took place under the theme 'Defensive Speaking from Intelligent Youth'.
The team of Khadeen Barnett, who was named best speaker in the finals, Andrene Barrett, and Veneisha Brown was made to work hard by their opponents - Zalia Frazer, Ombretta Rattray and Nordia Wright - to win the trophy, which is dedicated to the memory of a police officer who died in Ocho Rios earlier this year.
The competition was orga-nised by the St Ann Police Youth Club Council, with both the winning and runner-up trophies being donated by Constable Shaqorey Smith and handed over to the victorious team by sister of the deceased Kaneil Walsh.
In the contest for third place, Eltham PYC defeated Discovery Bay PYC.
"We had a quality debate," stated chief judge Kemesha Kelly as she detailed the scoring system for the competition.
Special commendations were extended to the executive members of the PYC Council for the organisation of the competition.
Winnie Mills of the Sturge Town PYC was awarded for being the most dedicated member during the competition as she was always pre-sent at the matches.
Jamaica Cultural Develop-ment Commission gold-medal winner nine-year-old Ashayah Harrison of Bamboo Primary and Junior High School thrilled the gathering with some poems written by her mother, Sheblet Barnett.
Smith said that while there were 48 police youth clubs in the parish, only nine took part in the competition, prompting him to appeal for more parti-cipation from the clubs. He, however, said the the competition was a success.
"It was a success, and I have to thank the St Ann Police Youth Club Council, which worked really hard to put this together," Smith stated.
"I must mention the Comm-unity Safety and Security (CSS) members - Sgt Neil Brown from the training office, W/Sgt Lorna West Small from CSS - who came together to help. I would also like to thank the sponsors, including BahÌa PrÌncipe Hotel, which provided the venue for free."
Smith disclosed that the movement would be seeking to partner with HEART to help get persons in the clubs qualified in some skills in order for them to become employable.
President of the St Ann Police Youth Club Council Oneil Clarke was pleased with the competition and said that participants and non-participants alike would have benefited from the sharing of information.