The Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development will be collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism to showcase Barbados as a destination at next year???s Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah.
This was announced last weekend by Minister Steven Blackett at the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, where he addressed a reception to officially welcome home the athletes who represented Barbados at this year???s Games.
???Subsequent to our return to Barbados, I spoke to the Minister of Tourism with some assurance that next year we will be mounting some kind of booth to showcase Barbados, because in St. George [Utah] we have a very captive audience and we should not let an opportunity like that go to waste,??? he surmised.
Mr. Blackett also took the time to congratulate the athletes and reminded them that they were ???goodwill ambassadors??? who operated on behalf of the country.
???As Minister, I can see it is clear that you have created enduring friendships as you traversed through the city of St. George and continue to receive positive responses about your comportment and deportment at the Senior Games. It is hoped that more opportunities can be created from attending these games to build greater linkages for the benefit of our economy,??? he said.
Despite the current economic challenges, the Social Care Minister reassured that as part of its Active Ageing Policy, Government would continue ???to be supportive of the athletes who participate in the National Senior Games as well as the Huntsman Games???.
With Government now looking at sports tourism as a means of boosting the economy, Coordinator of the National Senior Games, Rawle Clarke, disclosed that Barbados might soon be the host nation of a regional Senior Games.
???There are a group of people out of St. Vincent, Trinidad and St. Lucia who are thinking of coming together with Barbados to try to organise [a regional senior games]. We don???t only intend to hold it in Barbados but throughout the region, so by 2016 we should have one,??? he declared.
This year???s Huntsman Senior Games, held from Monday, October 6 to 18, registered a record 10,787 athletes. The athletes who represented Barbados won a total of 73 medals (26 gold, 30 silver and 17 bronze), in track and field, lawn tennis, archery and cycling, despite challenges with the chikungunya virus, weather conditions and travelling with a reduced contingent.