BWU’s tourney ‘a social good’
Barbados’ premier out-of-season netball tourney has come in for high praise for its social impact.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Ruth Blackman is lauding the Barbados Workers’ Union Netball Tournament after three decades of promoting great community spirit through sport.
She made the remarks while delivering the feature address during Sunday’s opening ceremony of the tournament’s 34th edition at the Netball Stadium.
“The organizers must indeed be commended for their perseverance [because] I observe that the tournament, which initially started for union members, has since widened its participation to include community groups,” said Blackman.
“What stands out here for me are the concepts of inclusion and social cohesion [as] many a society has crumbled due to their failure to embrace these concepts.
“We have often heard our Prime Minister [Freundel Stuart] speak to the fact that Barbados is more than an economy, it is a society,” she added.
Long-standing general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Sir Roy Trotman, echoed those sentiments, stating that the tournament has had a huge impact on Bajan society since the competition’s decision to involve teams from outside the union.
“This tournament has been going now for 34 years, not because of the sponsorship money, not because there is the level of advertisement dollars or political involvement that there might be in other engagements, but rather because ours is significantly a community-based exercise,” he said.
“We get little sponsorship money but yet we are able to boast of a very major community effect on what we are doing.
“We’ve been able to celebrate the fact that while sometimes community sports may lead to community dysfunction and fights among community groups, that the Barbados Workers’ Union netball grouping and our club exercises have been able to see us do training programmes for community involvement, for conflict resolution and for growing community spiritedness.”
This year, 19 of the 37 participating teams opened the ceremony in a parade, including Chickmont Wolverines who were adjudged the best team on parade.
In the lone game of the evening, Andrea Neblett went a perfect 13 from 13 while Heather Belle was 15 from 22 to lead Police to a 32-23 victory over Wolverines’ “A squad”.
Police never trailed in the contest after taking an initial 7-4 first quarter lead, which they turned into a 15-9 half-time cushion. For Wolverines, Nicole Graham made all 14 of her attempts, veteran Marion Johnson-Hurley was six of seven while Alicia Lashley converted half of her six tries. (JM)