Female police, Miss SVG contestant bridging generational gaps through sports

By Admin. Updated 6:00 a.m., Monday, September 19, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Miss Intransit Exports – Rockel Coombs, 25, has completed her GECCU Miss SVG Community Service Project where she held a week of sporting activities aimed at bridging the generational gap through sports.

“I planned a week of sporting activities where seniors and youths can participate together. By doing this, seniors have the opportunity to compete against the younger generation and share cultural values and traditions,” Ms. Coombs told One News SVG.

The 2022 Miss SVG contestant number 2, who is a law enforcement officer, engaged scores of children and adults in the activities held in her community – Vermont.

Ms. Coombs’ project is titled: Our Country, Our Culture, Bridging the Generational Gap through Sports.

It was undertaken as part of the GECCU Miss SVG Community Service Project where each of the eight (8) contestants taking part in the Miss SVG pageant this year was required to execute a project in her respective community.

Ms. Coombs’ activities ran from September 11 to 17, 2022.

Here is her full report:

To culminate a week of sporting activities, a traditional games fun day was held at the Hope Playing field in Vermont on Saturday, the 17th of September. In the first event, over thirty children and twenty adults from the community and surrounding areas lined up to contest a game of sack race. When I asked the children if they ever participated in a game of sack race only a few raised their hands. This revelation made me realize that we need to get more people involved in traditional games. As the day unfolded, spectators were introduced to Road Tennis which was invented in Barbados in the 1930s for citizens of lower socioeconomic status that couldn’t afford to play lawn tennis. This warm-up activity played on the hardcourt in a 10-foot by 21-foot box attracted many older residents and gave them a ‘little sweat’.

Road Tennis

Meanwhile, on the playing field sack races, hula hoop, bean bag toss, short distance races, and other games were contested. There was a lot of laughter, smiles, chatter, and movement as participants thoroughly enjoyed themselves and expressed that activities like these should be more frequent. The final event of the day which was a mixed tug-of-war competition saw youths and adults join forces and used their strength in an effort to become tug-of-war champions.

One of the sack races held at the Hope/Penniston Playing Field.

As a contestant in this year’s pageant, I aim to engage Vincentians in physical activity and bridge the generational gap through sports. Sponsored by GECCU Ltd my project bears the theme: Our Country, Our Culture, Bridging the Generational Gap through Sports. Therefore, I planned a week of sporting activities where seniors and youths can participate together. By doing this, seniors have the opportunity to compete against the younger generation and share cultural values and traditions. In addition, with intergenerational play, cognitive and social skills, physical development, and emotional well-being will be improved.

Prior to the fun day, I had three intergenerational competitions. The first on Sunday the 11th, an intergenerational match at the Hope Playing Field with the Sunday Sweaterz a masters team against the RSVGPF Football team. Then on the 13th, five netball teams namely Questelles, Layou, South Leeward, and the RSVGPF Senior and Junior netball teams squared off against each other at the Questelles Hard Court. Lastly on the 14th a cricket competition with a local Buccament team against the RSVGPF Cricket team. All the matches encouraged intergenerational play with the eldest participant being 70.

Miss SVG contestant #2 – Ms. Rockel Coombs.

To keep traditional games alive, I educated students at the Buccament Government School on September the 15thabout the importance of participating in games such as morale, hopscotch, and marbles. These games can help students to develop motor skills and learn about Vincentian culture. I also painted several Morale and Hopscotch boxes along the school’s corridor, so the students can utilize them in their free time. These games for many will be the start of sport involvement and research has shown that sports can help youths to develop the 5Cs:

1. Competence – a player’s view of their ability

2. Character – a sense of right or wrong, for instance, respect for rules 

3. Connection – building positive bonds with people 

4. Confidence – a player’s self-belief 

5. Compassion – having empathy for others 

If those 5Cs are developed a 6th one may emerge, contribution, which enables an individual to effectively give back to the community, which leads to the next generation of young people. Therefore, sports is a great avenue for many to learn and grow. 

All in all, these events brought a sense of togetherness. After the last few years, we’ve had as a nation, it’s important to utilize sports as an outlet for natural stress relief and to have fun. Special thanks to everyone that made this project a success.

The finals of the Miss SVG pageant is scheduled for October 29, 2022.

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