Plan to get ex-sports icons on board
by PHILIP HACKETT BARBADOS WILL BE embarking on a new programme utilising the expertise of former sports icons to maximize the performances of young local sportsmen and women.
The new initiative was outlined by Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sport John King, in his address at the National Sports Council’s awards ceremony at the gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex
on Saturday night.
Addressing the theme, Moving Towards Developing A National Consciousness And Confidence That Will See Sports As A Major Money Earner For Barbados And Its People, King unveiled a strategy designed to propel sports in Barbados to a new level.
“We are pursuing new strategies at both community and national levels. To this end the Ministry of Creative Economy Culture and Sport will be revising the national sports policy to reflect the business development side of sport,” King told the audience that included many of the leading personalities on the local sports scene.
“What is clear is that we are competing in a global sporting environment which is ever changing. Given that we don’t always have or use the latest technology to supplement the athlete’s performances, we must be creative and make greater use of our own home-grown resources to boost our performances,” the minister said.
“We have former outstanding cricketers, jockeys, bodybuilders, athletes, footballers and others to name a few. As such during 2019 there are plans to engage these as sporting ambassadors, including the legends of Barbados cricket, in a structured programme to mentor and to further enhance our youth performances.
“Additionally, we will also enter into a collaborative agreement between the University of the West Indies, the Barbados Olympic Association and the National Sports Council with respect to improving athletes’ training and performances.”
The minister emphasised the need for communities to encourage recreation and greater community involvement through sport activities as the new programme takes effect during the year.
He said that closer relationships with corporate social partners need to be developed as a means of achieving the goals outlined.
King also revealed plans to involve all necessary stakeholders so that the natural resources of Barbados can be fully utilised.
“Our God has given us beaches, resources which will not be neglected. Careful consideration and study through the necessary stakeholders will allow us to form a holistic sports tourism strategy,” he said.
King reminded the audience of the achievements of Sir Garfield Sobers after whom the complex was named. He also made mention of the exploits of Victor White, the skier who recently captured a silver medal at the Europa Cup in Poland.
“Such accomplishments prove that no goal is beyond the reach of our people here in Barbados,” he said.
“Our athletes over the years have scaled great heights on the international stage.
“So the question should not be if we can do it again but when, because we most certainly can.”
WINFIELD FORDE receiving the Primary Schools’ award on behalf of Bayley’s Primary from NSC deputy chair Catherine Jordan.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Long-standing sports administrator Kathy Harper-Hall accepting the award from Minister of Sports John King.
(Pictures by Kenmore Bynoe.).
YOUTH AWARD WINNERS (from left) Vanessa Greenidge, Nathan King, Omari Sealy and Rebecca Williams after receiving their awards from Sharon Carew-White of C.O. Williams Construction.