Sport has the potential to be a real economic driver for Barbados but there are a number of hindrances that are preventing this goal from being realised.
This assertion came from Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, yesterday as he delivered the feature address during an inaugural Risk Management Sports Conference entitled: Good Governance and Greatness, at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.
The three-day event is being hosted by G.O. Lynch Consultancy Inc. and Novaris Risk Management Solutions.
The Sports Minister told the audience, which included persons involved in sports management and administration, as well as risk managers from both the public and private sectors, that Government had declared that sports would be used as a medium-term growth strategy for Barbados, but this national objective was being inhibited by a number of factors.
???[These include] inadequate governance practices, the unawareness of the benefits to be derived therefrom, and, hence, a lack of focused attention and investment of time, effort and resources in sports.
???Good governance and effective risk management practices can assist us in mitigating the risks to sport-induced development objectives, while enabling Barbados to evolve to the level of which we are capable,??? he emphasised.
Mr. Lashley pointed out that the same held true for private sector investors and entrepreneurs who engaged in sports on a commercial basis. He said that while their objective was to maximise earnings, without good governance and effective risk management, they would not achieve a sustainable level of profitability.
???This conference is, therefore, timely as it can stimulate the thinking to inform positive changes to our governance standards in sports. Given the value of sports to both the Government and the private sector, one should acknowledge that the reform of our sports must be both public and private sector driven.
???I wish to emphasise that even though the objectives of the public and private sectors differ in some ways, neither side can exist and operate effectively without working collaboratively. The Government of Barbados sees this as absolutely essential and will continue to engage the private sector where possible. Indeed my appearance at this conference today, is an indicator of the importance my Ministry attributes to the matter,??? he noted.
Over the next few days, participants will examine a wide range of topics including: Managing New and Emerging Security, Corruption and Cheating Risks in Sports; Effective Management of Opportunities and Risks for Women in Sports; Reducing the Risk of Sports-related Injuries ??? A National Health Imperative; Key Labour Laws Governing Sportsmen and Women and their Controlling Organisations; Improving Hygiene and Preventing Foodborne Diseases at Sporting Events; and Dealing with Accolades, Rejection, Conflict and Depression in Sports.