Multi-purpose venue way to go
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) to provide every national sporting association with its ownpermanent home.
However, a much more viable option would be to construct a state-of-the-art multi-sporting complex, which would provide those associations with a venue which they could all use collectively.
That is according to Cammie Burke, assistant general secretary at the BOA. He spoke during the Nation Talkback town hall meeting on sport which was held at Solidarity House on Wednesday night.
Although he agreed that it was important for the respective sporting associations to have their own homes, Burke explained that it was unrealistic to think that the BOA had the finances to do so.
He said: “To ask the government or the BOA to provide each national federation with a homeI think is a very unrealistic request.
“Providing facilities obviously is a challenge. Every national federation will come and tell you yearly that ‘we need a home, we need a home’.
“But I think that is a pie-in-the-sky ambition. What I think we need to do is to develop a facility that can change modes and house each national federation.”
Burke said that the BOA was exploring an option which had been put forward – to use the abandoned Louis Lynch Secondary School to house some if not all of those federations.
He was quick to point out though that the erection of a multi-purpose sporting facility was not as straightforward as it seemed, as a substantial amount of money was needed to be injected in such an initiative.
“Still, even if we build this facility, we then need employers and we need money to pay those people,” he noted.
Burke was also of the view that the numerous facilities across the island needed to be upgraded if we expected to get the best out of our athletes.
He said that for too long there had been a heavy reliance on facilities such as the National Stadium and Kensington Oval.
“As far as cricket is concerned Kensington Oval isn’t used willy nilly because there are other cricket fields which are well kept.
“However when it comes to the National Stadium, I think that we need to develop other fields and pitches and bring them to a level where the athlete can feel comfortable in performing and training there.
“In other countries, they have multiple facilities available, Abut in Barbados we don’t have that luxury and I think that is one of the areas that we are lacking,” Burke said.