Elite sports centre in 5 years
Cabinet has approved an ambitious five-year plan for a high performance centre which will seek to build on Barbados’ sporting excellence.
The disclosure was made Wednesday night by Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley at a reception in the Grace Adams Suite at the Grantley Adams International Airport to welcome home the successful CARIFTA?swim team which captured 21 golds out of a total of 40 medals in Jamaica.
“We have also received an invitation from the Swimming Association to discus their plans for the future,” Lashley added. “We have unfolded the concept of Team Barbados geared towards putting resources, strategies and personnel towards medalling at international competition.”
A large and loud group bearing banners welcomed home the swimmers.
“It is always good that when our athletes go out and do well that we congratulate them which is my purpose for being here tonight,” said the minister.
“These young people will always be beacons of inspiration not just for their respective schools but for Barbados and sports in the island.
“Annually, I make the journey here to congratulate our athletes on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados.
“I also take time to give congratulations and appreciations to the parents since much of what has been achieved would be impossible without the support from the parents,” added Lashley.
Head of the delegation Tony Selby welcomed the offer of greater support for swimming as he outlined the difficulties of keeping the youngsters focused on training twice a day, six days a week.
He said Barbados must harness the younger swimmers to keep them in the sport.
“Swimming is a demanding sport and we are suffering when our swimmers reach 14 [and] 15 as they tend to drop out . . ..
“However, the cost of attending daily training and the task of getting up every morning at three [o’clock] is tough. That is why we need another pool, particularly in the north, which would accommodate those persons who struggle to get to Wildey twice a day,” added Selby. (KB)