YOUTH groups from Sigatoka to Rakiraki gathered in Lautoka on Friday to celebrate National Youth Day at Churchill Park.
With the theme youth — energy of a nation, the Ministry of Youth and Sports hosted participants to a day of sports, entertainment and an awards ceremony that honoured outstanding youth leaders from the Western Division.
West youth officer Mere Ratukonadi said the Western Division Dynamic Youth Awards night was geared towards celebrating the achievements made by youth groups and youth leaders in their various communities.
"This is a culmination of the various community based activities carried out by these groups and individuals and we at the ministry wanted to show our appreciation to them by giving them awards for their work," she said.
"We have four categories, the Youth Worker of the Year, the Young Farmer of the Year, Youth Group of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
"We had applications from all over the division and we have had some great work done by these groups and individuals."
Hailing the efforts by the youth groups, Permanent Secretary for Sugar Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi called on the youths to be agents of change.
"I urge the youths of the Western Division to continue working together with the leaders of our communities in tackling social issues and use the energy that you have to be agents of change in fighting crime, addressing the impacts of climate change, reducing NCDs and fighters of good causes," he said.
"Being a youth you are at a stage of life full agility, power, energy and intelligence.
"That same energy when challenged negatively will create negative results and social ills in the community that you represent."