The opening ceremony for the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program – G.R.E.A.T. CUP 2017 was held at the BTL Park in Belize City on Saturday, October 21, 2017. The sporting competition is supported by the U.S. Embassy through the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) section, which provides equipment, uniforms and trophies for the participants. Cadets and G.R.E.A.T. students from the Eastern Division Community Policing program were represented and they came from Precinct One, Precinct Two, Precinct Three, Precinct Four, Ladyville, Hattieville and Coastal (Caye Caulker and San Pedro).
The G.R.E.A.T. Cup will give the cadets from different communities a chance to engage in meaningful sporting activities that teach healthy, organized activities. Some of the intended benefits include learning to work as a team, building self-esteem, developing leadership skills, and especially how to resist gang activities and bullying behaviors. When the sporting competition ends, Community Policing Officers will continue to work with the cadets and youth throughout the Eastern Division to ensure they are actively engaged in the weekly programs that are available at local police formations/precincts. This sporting competition is only one aspect of the program being developed by the Police Department to keep youth engaged in activities that will help keep them off the streets and out of gangs. Other programs include the Do the Right Thing Program, Police Crime Prevention Education Program, After School Arts and Music Program, and more.
The sporting competition will continue until April 2018 and will include male and female events in volleyball, basketball and football. A total of fourteen teams will participate and games will be played after school, and on weekends and holidays.