An international Sports Career Showcase and Symposium is being planned for Barbados to create a greater awareness about the job opportunities available in sports.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley made this announcement last Friday, June 6, at a reception held to honour the Barbados CARIFTA Athletics, Swimming and Chess teams, at the Almond Bay Conference Centre, Hastings, Christ Church.
???Not only will we focus on attracting our youth to viable careers in sports, but it is recognised that the tenure of athletes in the field is shorter than most professions. However, there are pathways forward after performance and these would be highlighted on that occasion,??? Mr. Lashley said.
He explained that sports had gone beyond fun, good health, social interaction and relaxation and stressed sports should be used to generate economic prosperity and improve standards of living.
Stating that Barbados was striving to develop a sports sector, he added: ???A Strategic Plan is already in place to facilitate this and a Green Paper, in which the input of all would be sought, will shortly be drafted after full consultation with all sporting organisations.???
Minister Lashley also used the opportunity to advise parents of young sportspersons about maintaining the balance between sports and academics.
???At the time of the Eleven-plus at the primary school level and CXC at the secondary level, sports for some children are off limits. No time is allotted to training as everything goes into studying for the specific exams. The other end of the continuum is that all the time is spent preparing for sporting activities and school work is neglected. A balance must be struck,??? he implored.
Congratulating the CARIFTA teams, Mr. Lashley insisted that the youngsters??? development should be ???a rounded one??? and that they must pay attention to deportment and communication skills.
???Sports provide career and educational opportunities by way of scholarships to schools of higher learning and universities. However, on entering university, one does not just run or swim. There are academic pursuits to be conquered. If your grades fall and continue to fall, all the opportunities provided by sports participation go by the wayside; then you are quietly asked to take your exit. Sports and academics must go hand in hand,??? the Minister stressed.