National Hall Of Excellence For Sports In The Works

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Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley(third from right) presents the Sports Personality of the Year Award to Kirk Edwards. At left is Director of the National Sports Council (NSC), Erskine King, while NSC Chairman Seibert Straughan is at right. (A. Gaskin/BGIS)??

Outstanding sportsmen who have excelled in their discipline could soon be inducted into a National Hall of Excellence for Sports.

While addressing the National Sports Council’s (NSC) annual awards ceremony over the weekend, Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, announced that a National Hall of Excellence for Sports would soon be established.

Mr. Lashley further disclosed that the creation of the Hall was one of the initiatives suggested in the NSC’s recently formulated draft Strategic Plan, currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Sports.

"And, I will very shortly be approving it for implementation. This Plan will provide for a re-focused National Sports Council. A new-look Council mandated to transform sports in Barbados, so that we can achieve excellence in sports, and enable our sportsmen and women to achieve their highest potential. It is only when we reach this goal that Barbados will truly be able to make an even greater mark on the world’s sporting stage," he said.

The Minister proffered the view that the plan would be crucial to achieving the dream of transforming sports in Barbados into an industry in its own right. But, he noted that the success of any strategic plan in these tough economic times would be heavily dependent on the adoption of daring, new and innovative approaches.

"Fundamental to these approaches will be collaboration with you, our invaluable practitioners and stakeholders in local sports. I, therefore, encourage you to be proactive, and to revisit your plans for the advancement of your respective disciplines.?? Your doing this will have a positive impact on the effectiveness of the national strategy," he suggested.

Mr. Lashley said changes to the cost of replacing the track at the National Stadium had required a review of funding arrangements. According to him, these funds had been approved by Cabinet and the contractors and suppliers were ready to begin work on the project.

"In order, however, to accommodate the 2012 National Inter-schools’ Sports, the Athletic Season and Crop Over 2012, a decision was made to delay the start date.?? As soon as these events have finished, we will commence the project, which is scheduled to be completed in six months," he disclosed.

The Minister assured the large gathering that Government had been pursuing its strategy of sports for all Barbadians through the provision of an enabling infrastructure. To this effect, he stated that six playing fields and six pavilions were upgraded last year and said work for 2012 would include construction of two pavilions in St. Philip.

Mr. Lashley also promised that the NSC would accelerate its assistance to the National Sports Associations and athletes here and abroad. He noted that this initiative had started in the area of technical assistance, with the increase of Cuban coaches from three to seven.

He added that his Ministry had heeded the Associations’ calls for support in various areas and pledged Government’s commitment where practical and possible.

Some of the sportspersons who were recognised during the ceremony were: National Sports Personality and Senior Outstanding Sportsperson, Kirk Edwards; and Junior Outstanding Sportspersons Chelsea Tuach and Diquan Adamson. Shakera Reece copped the Minister’s Award and the Senior Outstanding Sportsperson titles.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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