Sports key to economy, says Lashley
BARBADOS may have targeted a way out of this recession.
Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley believes the development of local sports can help with the much-needed diversifying of the economy, so much so that his Government continues to seriously look at creating a self-sufficient sporting industry.
Lashley expressed the sentiment during a reception for Barbados’ eight-member Youth Olympic Games contingent at China’s embassy on Thursday night.
“The importance of sports within the context of Barbados really cannot be understated, so we have indicated that sports for us is a key instrument for economic development and the further diversification of the Barbados economy,” said Lashley in his feature address.
“We’ve indicated that we want to place sports within the context of a full-fledged industry, and for us to do that the efforts of our athletes are very critical. Of course the efforts of various organisations like the Barbados Olympic Association and the respective federations will be extremely critical in this particular mission we are on.”
It’s not the first time Lashley has made such comments, having revealed that Government last year was considering passing a Sports Development Act – a special legislation designed to provide incentives aimed at developing a thriving sporting sector under a new strategic sports plan.
Lashley further said a year ago that he was keen on establishing a professional football league with a view of creating more career opportunities in sports.
He made mention of that possible football initiative in light of the glowing success of the semi-pro LIME Pelican Challenge.