Barbados hosts fantasy camp
Wed, May 02, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Barbados has been blazing a trail in the sports tourism market, with the hosting of a “fantasy camp” involving players and fans of the Canadian Football League.
So said Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy as he welcomed a contingent of professional players and supporters from the league during a reception at Waterside Restaurant on Monday night.
The minister said that fantasy camps were among the fastest growing Internet marketing projects in North Atlantic countries and by hosting a camp for North American football players and fans Barbados was a leader in an emerging trend covering several sports.
The week-long camp, currently taking place on the island, features top players of Canadian football in a range of activities with fans which will be recorded and used in multi-media promotions of the new Canadian League season and destination Barbados.
Among the activities planned for the Canadians are football skills development camps (at Combermere, Coleridge and Parry and Deighton Griffith schools); a golf outing at the Barbados Golf Club; a dodge-ball contest and a player/fan challenge at Paragon.
The football skills camps are being led by quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who holds the North American football record of 72 000 throwing yards over a 19-year career.
The Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) and sports tourism partners in Barbados are hosting the 80 visiting Canadians.
Organizers said the initiative was the first of its kind from the Canadian market. Major objectives are to expose the island to an estimated six million fans of Canadian football and increase the numbers of such visitors to Barbados in coming years.
“We were looking at different locations in the Caribbean for this camp but we decided on Barbados and the Barbados Tourism Authority has been very supportive,” said Greg Albrecht, organiser of the tour.
Chief executive of the BTA David Rice thanked the Canadians for choosing Barbados and said the agency was committed to working with them on a project of great potential and for the benefit of the destination.
Running parallel to the fantasy camp is the 2012 annual general meeting of the Canadian Football League Players Association, which was shifted from Las Vegas to Barbados.
Several executives, including league commissioner Mark Cohan, have also flown here for the AGM which is being held outside of Las Vegas for the first time in 15 years. (PR)
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