Tuesday, April 23, 2024

NSC overhaul

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The body charged with developing local sports is up for its own redevelopment.
Operations of the National Sports Council (NSC) are set for a major overhaul within the year as Government looks to transform local sports into a full-fledged industry under the new strategic sports plan.
Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley revealed the plans to restructure the NSC while delivering remarks during Saturday’s National Sports Awards Ceremony at the Frank Collymore Hall.
“It’s one of the first orders of business [in the strategic plan] because we recognize to professionalize local sports we have to look at a new structure of the NSC and, of course, implied in that would be making certain amendments to the National Sports Council Act as well,” said Lashley.
“We want to look at the professionalization of coaching in a very robust way and the penetrating of our community sporting programme because out of that will throw up those athletes that will actually go places.
“From there the Sports Council will then caucus with the sporting fraternity to ensure that what it does in terms of developing is relevant to the sector. We’re also going to do a bit more with the sporting bodies in terms of providing more technical assistance, and we recognize that they will require more support when it comes to governance as well,” he added.
The NSC impending restructuring is just one of several projects identified by the new strategic sports plan which was approved by cabinet last month.
According to Lashley, the five-year plan will be rolled out in phases that will include the creation of both a high-performance centre and a sporting hall of fame with the idea of changing the country’s sporting ethos.
The plan will also see the NSC taking a greater role in the preparation of athletes ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics in light of Barbados’ recent shortcomings at major international meets.
But Lashley said that Government was also looking at passing a Sports Development Act – special legislation designed to provide incentives that will aid developing a thriving sporting sector.
“It’s similar to the Tourism Development Act where we are seeing sports as a major area for growth within the Barbadian economy,” explained Lashley.
“So what that will do is to encourage the development of more facilities, but also to allow for the creation and development of more sporting businesses across the country.”

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