|Deputy Chairman of the National Assistance Board, Senator Reverend David Durant, presenting Ainsley Lovell with her medals.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is urging Barbadians to view the performance of senior athletes as the impetus to ???whip their bodies into shape’ and to have greater respect for ageing.
He made this observation on Sunday night while addressing the 10th Anniversary Special Awards Ceremony for the National Senior Games at Hilton Barbados.??
He commended the athletes for their efforts and stressed that such activity had a positive impact on ageing. "Who can forget the 87-year-old Collie Lovell,
striding along the track this year and Victor Young, in [the] 70-74 age group, strutting across the track as if he owned it.?? What about the other disciplines added recently such as tennis, netball, basketball, football, archery and marathon??? The agility and flexibility of the competitors in the various masters’ tournaments belie their written age."
Mr. Stuart continued: "I should like to see more of these senior athletes and sports persons featured in advertisements and programmes on television and radio so that the young persons in Barbados may develop more respect and reverence for age, rather than seeing it as regret."
These positive images the Prime Minister added served to help other seniors to aspire to take better care of their health.?? "These images are also images of Barbados… a Barbados that cares for its elderly, acknowledges their contribution and a country that has declared war on chronic non-communicable diseases and is determined to reduce its impact."
In light of this goal, Mr. Stuart implored the games’ social partners to highlight the positive achievements of the island’s seniors, especially the feat of 45 records being broken at this year’s meet.
Describing the senior athletes as "ambassadors for the aged at the national level and beyond", he alluded to a role for the island’s 30 Constituency Councils in reviving the community spirit through sports.
"In our quest for a national fitness ethos, the government will be taking a more community-oriented approach in the staging of the National Senior Games.?? This we will do through the 30 Constituency Councils which have been established across Barbados.?? Additionally, consideration is being given to staging of inter-zonal competitions in several sporting disciplines between the various constituencies, under the aegis of the Constituency Councils," Mr. Stuart emphasised.
By doing this, the Prime Minister said it would lead to a further revival of the community spirit as well as to provide an outlet for wholesome entertainment.
"I want to assure you?? that as Prime Minister, I commit to providing the support necessary for the continuation of the National Senior Games and hope that most of us will be around to celebrate another 10 years of the games…," he underlined.
During the ceremony a number of awards and medals were presented to the athletes; while the sponsors received plaques for their invaluable support of the games.