BOA teams with UWI

Barry Alleyne,

Added 19 October 2012

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The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) plans to form a partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Cave Hill Campus to allow top athletes to use its facilities in preparation for international events. Newly re-elected BOA president Steve Stoute said the alliance would come with the expectation of creating synergies that would eventually see Barbados’ best athletes using UWI’s facilities to prepare for meets such as the Central American And Caribbean Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. Stoute said even though local federations oversaw their athletes, he hoped to see the BOA involved more closely with outstanding athletes who would eventually wear aquamarine and gold at Olympic Games. “We definitely would like to play a greater role in deciding on how the training structures for athletes are set up. “We are not the experts on the athletes, but hopefully, we would be allowed to play a greater role in the development of those athletes,” added Stoute, who easily beat the challenge of Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Browne at Wednesday’s elections at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. He noted that though the BOA provided financial assistance to a small core of athletes as part of its elite programme, he hoped an elite athletes centre would be established so the island’s best athletes could live and train together to improve to a world-class standard. “Whether it’s a physical centre or if we use existing facilities, we are talking to the University of the West Indies which we know has a level of facilities already.” Stoute said the BOA would not look past the hiring of internationally respected coaches to staff the centre. “The national federations would have to provide the material, and in most instances, the expertise. The Olympic Association would provide the funding.” The long-time president also said too many sporting federations still have administrative problems, and the Olympic Academy, headed by Dave Farmer, would continue to assist sporting bodies in becoming more efficiently run. Stoute said the BOA would also consider providing full-time paid administrative employees for each sporting federation, moving away from the traditional model of volunteerism. He stressed that for Barbados to continue providing world-class athletes, the Ministry of Education would also have to become a full partner by thrusting sports as one of the more important aspects of its curriculum. “Unless we can achieve that, we will always be behind the 8-ball,” Stoute said.

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