Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley????

Barbados’ National Strategic Plan for Sports is close to completion.

This disclosure has come from Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, who pointed out that the finished document would inform and guide the development of sports.

He made the comments yesterday while giving remarks at the closing ceremony for the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championship which was held at the National Stadium.

Mr. Lashley further stated that Government was mindful of the need to ensure athletes had access to the right type of facilities and support mechanisms for their continued growth and the development of sports. "In this regard, we are currently considering the options of a complete refurbishment of the National Stadium or a green site for the construction of an ultra modern, world-class sports complex, with this stadium being retained as a secondary facility," he stated.

The Minister promised that the National Sports Council would continue its assistance to the emerging and elite athletes, as well as the 60 national associations.

He warned, however, that this aid would only extend to athletes who remained in good standing with the associations, inclusive of remaining free of all prohibited substances, as specified by the World Anti-Doping Association.

He commended the athletes and spectators for their outstanding behaviour during the meet, stating that "there can be no place for rowdism at school sports". He opined that those who engaged in such behaviour had no place within the gates of the National Stadium or any other facility.

Mr. Lashley urged the young people to look within the Barbadian culture and rich tradition of excellence for their role models.?? "Do not allow others to distract you from the sound moral values that we as a society hold dear.

"The Government of Barbados is committed to protecting you from unsafe elements in whatever form they may come. And within the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports you will soon be made aware of avenues for letting your voices be heard as we prepare the National Youth Policy," he assured.

The Minister also praised the principals and those who organised the championships, stating that in the not-too-distant future he hoped to meet with them to explore ways in which the games could play a central role in the country’s emerging sports-tourism thrust.

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