There is a need to establish a protocol with regional airline carriers to ensure that events held in the Caribbean are not negatively impacted by industrial action.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, made this assertion yesterday at the opening of the 20th edition of the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship (CISC), held at the Aquatic Centre, Wildey, Christ Church.

The CISC event is a qualifier for the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico.

Welcoming the 19 competing teams to Barbados, Minister Lashley singled out the Trinidadian team, who he said was impacted by industrial action by one of the regional carriers and ???was in danger of not making the trip to Barbados???.

He explained that Barbados had always been an advocate for the Caribbean being a united space for sports, and noted that such a protocol would enable the region to host larger international sports events beyond the capacity of a single island.

???Moreover, it underscores the need to engage our local and regional service providers as key stakeholders in the efforts to unify the region through and for sports,??? he stressed.

Mr. Lashley praised the CISC organisers for their efforts in staging the event and for developing the island???s attractiveness as a sports tourism destination.

???We in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, are also focused on the enhancement of our sports landscape and expanding our capacity to host swimming events. To this end, we are actively pursuing two possible venues for the creation of a new Olympic standard swimming pool???.

???This will certainly augment the existing facility here at the Aquatic Centre and enable Barbados to meet the rising local and international demand for aquatic facilities here,??? he emphasised.

The Sports Minister encouraged the competitors to follow the path set by many Caribbean swimmers who had made it to the Olympics, and to also enjoy their stay in Barbados.

He also lauded the event???s sponsors. ???Your role continues to be critical and will certainly redound positively to the development of our youth, businesses and ultimately, our respective nations,??? he said.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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