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BLP’s plan for sport


HAYDN GILL, [email protected]

BLP’s plan for sport

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The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) plans to transform sport from a largely amateurish activity into a professional set up.

Additionally, the party is proposing the establishment of a Sports Development Act to better facilitate the development of sports as a true economic earning sector.

The pledges are contained in the BLP’s manifesto which was released last Thursday night at Kingsland, Christ Church ahead of the May 24 General Elections.

“In the past, national socio-economic policy treated to sports primarily for recreational value, focusing mostly on the health and social benefits.

“In this environment, bright and talented young people have had to choose between their dream of a career in sports and academic training, in order to make a living,” the party said in the manifesto.

“The BLP is determined that no young person should have to make that choice. Under the BLP there will be general development of sports. Our thinking is to elevate sports as a central pillar of Barbadian national identity, social development and economic prosperity.”

In order to develop a sustainable, high-performance system aimed at producing and maintaining world-class Barbadian sportspersons and a viable sports industry, the BLP is looking at launching a national participation project to encourage all Barbadians – especially young Barbadians – in life-long engagement in sports.

This will be done by expanding school based sports programmes and supporting greater levels of senior, community and work-based participation in sports and by equipping sports facilities with solar lights to improve capacity for training of teams and sports persons.

The BLP is also proposing to develop a secondary school as a specialist sports centre with strong emphasis on training a cadre of world-class coaches, athletes and sports professionals.

It also hopes to facilitate the establishment of Barbados as a leading destination for sports tournaments, sports science, injury rehabilitation and training camps.

In focusing on sports governance, the BLP said its policies would be supported by appropriate governance frameworks which are essential to the development of a cohort of international sporting professionals.

The party said in order to create an enabling governance environment for the administration and development of sports in Barbados, it would create a new model for the governance and administration of sports in Barbados, including repositioning the Ministry of Sports with the new Sports Development Act.

It also plans to increase the levels of support to national sporting organisations to enable them to deliver high-performance leadership, strategy, planning and performance that achieve international success. (HG)

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