Whilst there is much heartache about the crime situation in Belize City...let's shift gears to positive event (which actually relates directly to crime but positive) taking place over the next couple days in the Cayo district. Crimestoppers Belize in collaboration with the US Embassy is sponsoring a three day football tournament for several teams in the area. The Under 15 football competition is designed to spark interest in the work of Crimestoppers Belize, but with a direct benefit for young vulnerable boys who embrace football as a constructive outlet. Chris Garcia of Crimestoppers shared the cross benefits of the initiative.
Chris Garcia, Crime Stoppers It is a football tournament with the youth and Crime Stoppers Belize. What we believe is that if you give people something constructive to do, it helps prevent crimes; if you give adults jobs, they become busy. If you keep children busy it builds their character, sportsmanship, teamwork and it teaches them that if you lose, you don't have to become angry. It teaches them to control their anger and rather than fighting with each other, it teaches them to congratulate their opponents and try harder the next time. We believe that by doing this through sports, it will help children so that when they become adults they will know how to behave in society and be productive.
Garcia also took opportunity to remind the public of the role and work of the organization.
Chris Garcia Crime Stoppers Belize is a simple organization. What we have done is to provide a toll free number for you to call if you have any crime to report. If it is an ongoing crime and you want quick response then you call the Police. However, it is something that has happened and you want to give information to assist the Police, Customs, Immigration or Human Services Department, or any information that you believe can help to solve a crime, even in terms of child abuse, then you call our number which is 0800-922-8477. It is answered in Miami. They don't ask you for your name or anything and then they pass the information on to us. So all we receive is the information, we don't know who called, and then we pass on that information to the appropriate authority that is suppose to deal with that information.
Swift well known football team owner and organizer spoke with PlusNews about his involvement with the effort.
Owner of Football Team I have three teams; I have a senior team that played the first division 'Ashers,' an under fifteen 'Rockets' and an under twelve team.
Julian Cruz, PlusTV Journalist The tournament is for the under fifteen crew. You have representation in this tournament. How long is the tournament, it starts today, how long does it last?
Owner of Football Team It is going to end on Thursday evening at 3 o'clock.
Julian Cruz Aside from yourself, who are the partners in the tournament?
Owner of Football Team Crimestoppers Belize, the US Embassy and AR&S production - that is our club.
The competition concludes on Thursday April 12, with the awarding of trophies and medals for the winning team.