Students set to beach HIV/AIDS with their talents

Linden is on the ball to unearth more young talent to bolster its stock of cultural artists when a myriad of students take to the stage to showcase their ability at the inaugural Linden Schools’ Talent Concert tomorrow.

The one-day ‘American Idol’-styled event at the Linden Concert Hall and School (LICHAS), will pick the best performers at poetry, dance and jingle song in harmony with the theme “Harness talent and continue to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through ARTS”.

The show is a creation of the Guyana Beach Football Association (GBFA) whose constituents, labeled ‘Red Jaguars’, are committing their status quo to championing programs aimed at reversing the epidemic. The association is, again, collaborating with the Linden Care Foundation to conduct this novelty event.

“From this, we hope to develop a culture where students channel their energies in exciting cultural pursuits as part of overall efforts to develop alternatives to lifestyles that contribute to this epidemic,” said GBFA president Garth M. Nelson. “Also, this will seek to afford avenues to assist in lessening stigma associated with the disease, and it’s good to involve the students, since they are the future.”

Over a three-hour period, performers from six secondary and two primary schools in the bauxite-producing town will vie for bragging rights, ‘talent nurturing’ coaching and lavish prizes that include trophies and electronic devices such as cell phones and android tablets. “These great awards for the students are sponsored by Yes We Can Auto Repairs and Williams Shipping of New York, as well as Linden’s own Consumers Goods Complex,” declared the USA-based Nelson.

Jafari, one of Brooklyn’s top junior soccer players, shows off one of the tabets with a young representative of Yes We Can Auto.

According to LCF’s Roshauna Rawlins, there should be immense excitement at the show judging from the high expectations of the students, themselves. “They are enthused seeing this is the first event of this nature, so they are pretty excited”. She told Stabroek Sports that the GBFA and LCF are working feverishly for the venture’s success. “We also have been fully supported by teachers from all schools to assist the children in preparing for this event.”

Rawlins, the supervising coordinator of the show, said the presentations will be judged in varying of categories respective of the types of performance, but all “must carry an HIV/AIDS awareness message”.

Visits have been made to schools to ensure performers meet entry criteria such as ‘high attendance at school’, ‘appropriate costume’, ‘delivery duration’, as well as ‘deportment decency’, the LCF executive noted. “At the big show, it looks like its going to be a battle of unbelievable performances.”

Quorums of three experienced and reliable judges have been chosen for each category, and Rawlins is assuring that “they will have their work cut-out in arriving at the best.”

The talent show follows an on-going scheme set up earlier this year by the GBFA and LCF to offer free HIV-screening. A Memorandum of Understanding between the two bodies for this exercise lists that, among other agreements, the social institution will conduct the examinations utilizing its facilities, while the sports body spearheads the community awareness and sensitization aspects at its games and off-the-field undertakings.

Nelson called for more to be done on the HIV/AIDS front, and has indicated that his local beach soccer fraternity will be involved in a plethora of on and off-the field activities in the ensuing weeks. These include an ‘international friendly’ game between the Red Jaguars and

Trinidad and Tobago scheduled for later this month in Guyana.

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