Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steven Blackett, has encouraged Barbadians to not only support older athletes, but to follow their example of keeping active.

Mr. Blackett made these remarks while addressing the official opening ceremony of the 14th Annual National Senior Games last Saturday at the National Stadium.

???They have chosen to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and, at the same time, contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension,??? the Minister stated.

He continued: ???There is no greater motivation than seeing these senior athletes performing at their best on the track and in the field; their dedication and commitment to these games are to be lauded.???

Mr. Blackett praised the athletes for their ???determination and tenacity???, and also pointed out the increase in the number of athletes, from 300 competing in last year???s track and field events, to 420 for the 2015 games.

In light of this, he contended that the Senior Games were now ???a truly national event??? which not only added value to the spirit of fellowship through friendly competition, but equally highlighted his Ministry’s commitment to its active ageing policy.

The Minister also acknowledged the presence of supporters in attendance, amidst the changes which had to be made as a result of the stands being deemed off limits to the public for safety reasons.

???The importance and appreciation that you attach to this event show the clear and unwavering support given by both Government and the public to all levels of sport in this country,??? Mr. Blackett affirmed.

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