BOA support for netball
The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) remains fully committed to netball even though it is a non-Olympic sport and has pledged financial support for Barbadian teams to two of the major competitions over the next two years.
This assurance has come from BOA director Cameron Burke who also announced during the opening ceremony for the 2013 netball season last Sunday evening at the Wildey Gymnasium, that the special meeting of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) would be held in Barbados later this year.
“One of the primary mandates of the IOC [International Olympic Committee] is gender equality in sport, and your sport is key in helping us fulfil that mandate. That is why we have lobbied for the inclusion of netball on the Commonwealth Games programme and why it continues to be ranked highly on our roster of sports,” Burke said.
“My association will continue to provide financial support within our limited resources. Hence, we will be financing your Under-21 team’s participation in the World Youth Championships in Glasgow,” he said to loud applause.
Those championships will run from August 22 to 31 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The assistant secretary general said the senior team would also get support ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and this funding could be used for preparation, training or qualification initiatives.
In addition, the Barbados Netball Association will also continue to access administrative support from the BOA.
Burke said that after many years of negotiating with PASO and Olympic Solidarity, the BOA was finally able to garner funding for non-Olympic sport and netball would benefit from that change.
Meanwhile, one of the main items on the agenda for the PASO special general meeting in Barbados in June/July is the consideration of bids for the 2019 Pan American Games.
The bids have been narrowed to four cities – Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile; Bolivar, Venezuela and La Punta, Argentina – and Barbados’ secretary general Erskine Simmons has been appointed to the Evaluation Commission and will soon be visiting the cities as the final decision draws closer.
The gathering will also receive an update on the Toronto 2015 Games.
Ernesta Drakes, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth said Government remained committed to converting the Netball Stadium into an indoor multi-sports complex.
She said that through the National Sports Council, the ministry would continue to provide coaching, equipment, playing facilities and technical assistance for netball.