Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Call for sports secretariat


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Given the limited resources available for sport, Barbados should set up a secretariat to determine the best way to utilize them.
That’s the view of Gregory Armstrong, sports tourism manager at the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA).
Armstrong was speaking during the open floor session at the NATION Talkback at Solidarity House last Wednesday night.
The panel and audience were discussing the transformation of sport from amateur to professional level.
“We have to form a secretariat,” said the former Barbados fast bowler. “The money is small, we agree. The money that has to be disbursed among the various associations is limited but you know what, we can pool it together.  
“The monies that we disburse to sports organizations goes to the secretariat. It is run by professional, administrative people who analyze everything that comes to the grouping.”
The tourism official said that it would be left to the secretariat team to do the necessary investigations to determine which sport or sports persons the money be spent on to get the best returns.
Armstrong argued that good management will bring sponsors both from local and external sources.
He made the point that moving towards professionalism in sport should not be difficult given the passion of the current Ministers of Sport and Tourism who he felt would do whatever was required.
Armstrong said he was committed to bringing tourists to Barbados fully recognizing that the quality of life of many Barbadians depended on the success of the BTA.
He said that Barbados compared favourably with any of the many places throughout the world where he has lived.
“Moreover, I believe that Barbados is the best year-round, warm weather sports tourism destination in the world and we have to work to keep it that way.”  
Armstrong stressed the need to act quickly to put things in motion.
“There is an old saying that when the grass is growing the horse is starving. We’ve got to keep them coming and this is the only thing I know how to do now,” he said.
Armstrong said that hockey had been trying to get a pitch for the last few years.
“What I am seeing happening is while we are thinking about how to get the pitch, we’re losing teams every day, so we are losing 600, 700 people a year. We can’t allow it to happen to any other sport,” he said.


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