Barbados’ newest sports event, the Bajan Independence Games (BIG), was officially launched today by the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA).
Speaking at a headquarters press conference at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, President Steve Stoute explained that BIG will be held on November 30, this year, at the National Stadium, and will include a parade of teams.
Mr. Stoute stated that BIG was conceptualised as part of the Association’s ‘Sport for All’ programme, which is one of the primary initiatives of the International Olympic Committee, and National Olympic Committees such as the BOA. “Sport can be an ideal answer for the promotion of physical and mental health, as well as an inter-community spirit,” he said.
BIG will feature stilt sprint races, gutter perk marksmanship, rock stone pelting, stick licking, a pound-for-pound tug-of-war, a human-powered chariot, and a Best Community Project competition. The games will be absolutely free.
Minister of Family, Youth, Sports and the Environment, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, expressed pleasure at her Ministry’s involvement with the games, adding that “the vision of this administration is to enhance community involvement through sports”. The games also presented persons with a tremendous sporting opportunity at the parish level.
The Minister congratulated the BOA on their implementation of “something for everyone, and the promotion of wholesome family fun, which is in keeping with the Ministry’s focus”.
BOA board member, Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Browne, disclosed that anyone registered to vote in Barbados is eligible to participate, and teams will be limited to 35 persons per constituency. There will be attractive awards and prizes, plus bonus points for teams with physically-challenged persons. A full set of rules will be published by September 15, and teams must be registered by November 15.