Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley??
Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, has reiterated Government’s commitment to improving sporting facilities across the island, once resources are available.
While delivering the feature address during the opening ceremony of the 11th Jean Pierre Youth Netball Championships at the Netball Stadium over the weekend, he said it was his Ministry’s duty to provide adequate facilities that would be conducive to teams playing to the best of their ability.
"As an interim measure, the Government of Barbados has undertaken to refurbish this netball stadium to facilitate the hosting of this championship. I have already said that the development of a new national stadium is occupying our attention, as we plan strategically for sports in Barbados. This does not mean that a new national stadium can be developed overnight, but we are determined to set our sights on planning pro-actively for our athletes, present and future.
The new Sports Minister observed that the existing sporting facilities had aged over the years and it was the position of the Government that, "once resources permit, we will move speedily and aggressively to turning this state of affairs around. But, while we are planning for future development, I have already indicated to the National Sports Council that our sports facilities must be maintained, to ensure that they can be safely and effectively utilised," Mr. Lashley disclosed.
According to him, there was a clear linkage between producing quality athletes and the availability of sporting facilities of world-class standard. He stressed that if Barbados was to take maximum advantage of the capacity of sports tourism, to earn valuable foreign exchange, then sporting facilities had to be improved to adequately accommodate various sports.????????????
He told the large gathering that his Ministry remained committed to the holistic development of sports, and stressed that the support of netball was but one of the many mechanisms that enabled them to achieve their objectives.
The Sports Minister lauded the organisers of the Jean Pierre Tournament, stating it had nurtured local players by providing them with an outlet for showcasing their basic skills, which, in turn, were fine-tuned to produce a high calibre of senior national players who represented their countries with pride.
Junior netballers from Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago are competing in the tournament, which ends this weekend.