PM Thompson Has High Hopes For Sports Tourism

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Prime Minister David Thompson, presenting the Sentebale Polo Cup trophy to HRH Prince Harry at Apes Hill Polo Club.

Prime Minister David Thompson has expressed the hope that revenues generated from sports tourism would "soon surpass those from the sun-sea-sand product that is currently under severe pressure from lower cost destinations".

He made the statement today while delivering an address at the inaugural Sentebale Polo Cup, at Apes Hill, St. James.

Mr. Thompson appealed to all those attending the event to help government achieve the goal by "pursuing excellence in whatever we, as a nation, do".

He added: "This event and the other sporting events that take place at Apes Hill are helping to create an attractive, highly diversified tourism product that builds on the reputation we have established through cricket."

The Prime Minister noted that Barbados was delighted to be the host venue for the first event of the annual Sentebale Polo Cup which was established to raise funds to ensure that orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho receive the care, education and health which was taken for granted by other countries, including Barbados.

He observed that persistent poverty had plagued Lesotho for decades, exacerbated in the last 20 years by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. However, Mr. Thompson pointed out that Lesotho had given a commitment to achieving several Millenium Goals by 2015, including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Stressing that it would be impossible to achieve those goals without help, the Prime Minister told those attending the event that their generosity could mean the difference between life and death for generations of Lesotho children.

"Please, therefore, help me and my government to make this inaugural event a highly successful one, and set high standards for succeeding events to try to emulate. Help us to make Barbados and the Sentebale Polo Cup synonymous with caring and sharing," he implored.

Sentebale was founded by its patrons Prince Seeiso of Lesotho and Prince Harry of Britain in 2006 as a memorial to the charity work with children done by their late mothers. It has already helped over 3000 children through partnership work with 25 organisations including orphanages and special needs schools.

gapplewhaite@barbados.gov.bb

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