A strategic plan for the complete refurbishment of the National Stadium, inclusive of netball and squash facilities, will be presented to the Cabinet of Barbados very soon.

Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, gave this assurance during his feature address on Tuesday, at the opening ceremony of the 22nd Senior Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Squash Championships at the PomMarine Hotel, Marine Gardens, Christ Church.

His comments came after President of the Barbados Squash Association, Craig Archer, said the lack of squash courts and facilities on the island was challenging for the development of the sport.

Minister Lashley said: ???I note of course the issue raised by the President??? and I do share his anxiety. But to quell his anxiety, the Government is moving as quickly as we can to look at the question of facilities generally.

???Recently, we compiled a strategic plan of action, which includes a project proposal??? and we will be presenting to the Cabinet Committee a plan to do a complete refurbishment of the National Stadium and of course the netball facilities, and I believe that plan would also include facilities for squash as well,??? he explained.

The Sports Minister said he believed that during difficult economic times, it was especially important to upgrade sports infrastructure. ???It is really when we have challenging economic times that we should spend the money and improve the facilities for sports, because in my view, that will bring us the kind of revenue that we require across the region,??? he said, noting that over one hundred players, officials and spectators were attending the competition.

He added that improving facilities, as well as hosting regional tournaments such as the CASA Squash Championships, were critical to achieving sporting excellence.

???I believe that the Caribbean has within it the capability to produce the world???s greatest athletes in all disciplines. I believe that this championship here in Barbados is a mere indication of what we have to begin to build in extending ourselves to reach those goals of creating champions who will grace the world stage,??? he asserted.

Indicating that the environment created by the championship stimulates nurturing and support for squash, he pointed out that this was essential to the healthy and productive development of the region???s people.

The 22nd Senior CASA Squash Championships are being played at the Barbados Squash Club, Marine Gardens, Christ Church. The competing countries are Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Trinidad and Tobago.

The games commenced last Friday, August 15, and will conclude on Sunday, August 24.


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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