Lashley’s promise to elite athletes
GOVERNMENT will be moving to get funding to elite athletes much faster next year.
Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley gave that assurance to athletes and sports administrators at the Barbados Olympic Association’s (BOA) awards ceremony at the Hilton Barbados resort on Wednesday night.
Lashley revealed that a joint commission has been established between the National Sports Council and the BOA as he noted his ministry and Government’s commitment to the provision of developmental assistance for sportsmen and women.
“I am cognisant of some of the challenges you would have faced during this year, with respect to the prompt allocation of some resources. In this regard, the Ministry, through the National Sports Council, has been working closely with the Barbados Olympic Association to ensure that all ripples in the allocations process are removed and that the future support to our athletes is provided seamlessly and in a timely manner,” Lashley said.
“In fact, systems have been put in place through the establishment of a joint commission between the NSC and the BOA to expedite this process.”
He said the next few years, starting with the Commonwealth Games in April and climaxing with the Toyko 2020 Olympic Games, will be a busy time for sports in Barbados.
“As we journey through this period, there is a need to redefine our focus and our strategies if we are to attain the desired success on the world stage,” he advised.
Lashley also announced that his ministry, in collaboration with the BOA and the Barbados Sports Medicine Association, will shortly be unveiling a health evaluation and health maintenance programme for elite and emerging athletes.
“These initiatives are all geared toward ensuring that any distractions to sportspersons are minimised and that you are better positioned to focus on excelling in your respective disciplines.
“All we ask is that you capitalise on the assistance being provided and continue to strive towards excellence,” he said.
He added that the BOA’s initiatives in providing refresher training courses for sports administrators, coaches and officials and requesting sports bodies to upgrade their constitutions, raised the bar with respect to professionalism in the national associations.
“I do believe that the enhanced professional approach is a necessity to realising continued success on the world stage. It is extremely important that governance is strengthened at all levels within sporting federations and associations.”
Lashley also lauded the BOA for staging the second Barbados Independence Invitational Games, noting the participation of 29 national federations was “a phenomenal achievement”.
“Your efforts have been integral to the Government of Barbados’ strategy of elevating sports to its place of prominence in our society,” he said. (EZS)