??Erskine King (left) and Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley at the??National Sports Council.??(FP)

Within a few weeks, the National Sports Council (NSC) will launch road tennis, basketball and road race competitions for communities across the island.

That is the word from Director of the NSC, Erskine King, who said the Council would be looking to expand the number of sporting disciplines for competition in the future.

Mr. King stated that following the success of last year’s community road tennis competition, another would be staged involving residents of the 11 parishes in the island, and the finals would be played in January 2012.

He continued: "Community basketball matches will be played in all the parishes, culminating with the finals later this year. In addition, we will have mile-long road races in all the parishes across the island."

Giving the rationale for the competitions, he explained that they were designed to bring communities closer together, as well as encourage friendly rivalry and wholesome activities in districts in Barbados. "The competitions are also aimed at creating a healthier and fitter society by encouraging people to engage in exercise, sports and games," the Director stated.

Meanwhile, during the opening ceremony of the LIME Pelican Out-Of-Season Football Tournament at the National Stadium last Sunday, Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, said those three disciplines were selected because of their mass appeal, and?? noted they were inexpensive for participants.

Mr. Lashley told those present that through this "multi-faceted approach", Government’s aim "is to identify and nurture the raw, unearthed sporting talent within our communities". He added: "It is hoped, that once established, we can look forward to continued mass participation in these disciplines and the eventual development of semi and professional levels of participation."

The Minister described last year’s inaugural national road tennis competition as a "resounding success".


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