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BOA head: Go federations route


SHERRYLYN A. TOPPIN

BOA head: Go federations route

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All LEGITIMATE?sporting clubs seeking to import equipment and wanting to benefit from duty-free concessions should go through national federations.
This is the advice from Steve Stoute, president of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA).
Stoute, whose umbrella body is responsible for all Olympic sports including athletics, was responding to issues raised by some of the local coaches about the high costs of sporting equipment for training and the high import duties they attract.
“If an athlete or coach wanted to bring in special equipment to assist with training they need to go to the Athletics Association who would in turn – providing they agree it is legitimate sports equipment – discuss with the National Sports Council (NSC),” Stoute said.
“They would consign that equipment to the NSC and the goods would receive duty-free status.”
Coach Ramon Armstrong of Elite Distance and Alwyn Babb of Rising Stars Club both expressed concern about the costs of equipment.
Babb, who was particularly vocal on the issue, said “the duties will kill you” when the equipment arrived on the island.
“You can’t have a meaningful training programme at the club or national level without equipment. If you are expecting success, it has to be a million dollar investment in sport,” Babb later said.
Stoute said the issue of duty free concessions for sporting equipment was on the table before he joined the NSC as deputy chairman back in 1978.
The issue was also raised at a four-hour long National Consultation on Sport in 2006 at the then Sherbourne Conference Centre with former Minister of Sport Anthony Wood and officials from the NSC, but it seems to have fallen off the national agenda.
 “This has been going on for a long time. A universal scenario where sporting equipment has been brought in got a waiver of duty, we continue to talk about it,” the president said.
He pointed out that the Barbados Sailing Association had benefited from such an arrangement for boats and canoes, but the Barbados Equestrian Federation was not as fortunate with their horses because “it is difficult to conclude whether a horse is used for leisure or competition”.
“I don’t think respective Governments have found a way that they could get it organized,” Stoute said.

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