Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley. (FP)

This island’s Sports Minister has called for all hands to be on deck when it comes to the development of sport in Barbados.

Speaking at the 35th annual National Sports Council Awards at the Frank Collymore Hall, Minister Stephen Lashley said that “across this island are young men and women of purpose whose opportunity for development is dependent on our collective [and] relentless pursuit.”

Mr. Lashley stressed that Government’s sporting agencies and the island’s communities both have a role to play in all areas of the island. “In short, everyone must play their part in the future development of our sporting industry,” he emphasised, while adding that sports is a necessary economic opportunity which must be relentlessly pursued.

Adding that each of the many sporting federations had a role to play in the development of the nation’s young sportspersons and the sporting industry, he declared: “[Sports development] is an important national vision which must not be blurred or diminished by anything as we strive to accomplish important aspects of our development.”

Minister Lashley, asserted that the country should not be limited by thinking of sports as “another pastime”. “It is not,” he said, “it is a distinctive opportunity with important social and economic benefits. It is an opportunity to give definition to the aspirations of a wide range of our youth attaining the status of world champions.”

This year the NSC recognised several young athletes, including 24-year-old cricketer Shai Hope, who won the titles of National Sports Personality of the year and Senior Outstanding Sports Person (Male), while 15-year-old Squash player Megan Best won the Junior Outstanding Sportsperson (female).

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