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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Regional Sports Academy will be launched at the Twenty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which begins in Paramaribo, Suriname on Thursday 8 March 2012.

The inaugural group of students to the Academy, which will be in Suriname, will be presented to the Bureau of Heads of Government in a ceremony during a reception and cultural event on Thursday evening, the first day of the two-day meeting. The Academy, a Surinamese initiative, will provide academic and sporting training for students across the Community.

The two-day meeting of the CARICOM leaders will begin earlier that day with statements from Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, the Rt Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, immediate past Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government and His Excellency President Desire Bouterse, President of Suriname and current Chairman of the Community.

On Friday morning the Heads of Government will participate in a fitness walk in keeping with their support for the Wellness Revolution which was spawned by the Declaration of Port of Spain which emerged from the CARICOM Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases, held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2007.

An exhibition marking International Women’s Day on 8 March will feature at the Meeting highlighting the theme of the observance: “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.” The Inter-Sessional Meeting itself is being conducted under the theme, “Healthy Women, Wealthy Region.”

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