Infrastructure Critical For Sports Tourism

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Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, and President of the Barbados Cycling Union, Keith Yearwood, discussing cycling issues during a recent courtesy call.??

Barbados cannot seriously talk about sports tourism unless the necessary infrastructure is in place.

This view was expressed last Friday by Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, when several members of the Barbados Cycling Union (BCU), namely, its President, Keith Yearwood; First Vice President, Keith Simmons; Secretary, Glendene Boyce; Racing Secretary, Charles Pile; and Assistant Racing Secretary, Charles Lynch; met with him at his Constitution Road, St. Michael, office.

Mr. Lashley said: "There is huge potential to bring teams here during the year and that brings in foreign exchange. The sports tourism pull is one we are interested in and we need to focus on having infrastructure that is modern and meets international standards."

He admitted that the National Stadium had its own shortcomings, while reiterating that Government had begun looking at different facilities across the island.

The Minister reminded the group that Barbados was in the middle of a recession and the economy was not robust enough to do all the things required.

Mr. Lashley argued that sports had the potential to grow the island’s entrepreneurial base, and suggested that it should be seen and treated as an industry.

Mr. Yearwood said the Cycling Union was doing its best to develop the spor t, but stressed that Government assistance was needed in some areas.

The officials also discussed several other issues, including the cycling track at the National Stadium, value added tax on sporting equipment, various programmes being undertaken by the BCU, and cyclist Barry Forde’s development.??saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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