Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley??

Government’s commitment to the development of football and youth in Barbados has been reiterated by the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley.

While addressing the 23rd Barbados Cup Football Youth Tournament at the National Stadium yesterday, Mr. Lashley told his audience that the need for adequate facilities continued to attract the attention of Government.

"Consequently, a facilities audit has been conducted to include the football fields. On completion of the review of the report, we will be exploring upgrading those facilities in a phased manner – subject to the availability of finance," he disclosed.

Describing the Barbados Cup as a much anticipated and strategically timed tournament, he noted that it afforded the youth an opportunity to hone their technical skills, while exposing them to a high level of competition with their regional and international counterparts.

The Minister said young people had expressed great interest in the competition and told those present that their participation was more than simply the playing of football. He continued: "In reality, you are contributing to the development of our sports tourism product and by extension, to the economy of Barbados. I, therefore, commend you for your invaluable contribution and urge you to recognise the importance of your role in our national development."??????

Mr. Lashley commended the organisers of the tournament, Game Fit International, stating that it had evolved into a highly reputable event, which consistently attracted the participation of teams from the Caribbean and further field. "This augments the strategy of the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports, as we move steadily ahead with promoting Barbados as a premier destination for sports, based on a multi-discipline sports tourism product," he observed.

According to him, Game Fit International had embarked on the creation of a website in its quest to promote the Barbados Cup on a global scale. He suggested that the initiative would provide greater visibility for the nation’s young people, and could only augur well for the development of the domestic game to international standards.

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