A Serious National Sports Program a Must


Akela Jones

Last week veteran sports administrator Sir Austin Sealy at an award some where made the contentious remark – in BU’s view – that Barbados as a small country does well when we only qualify athletes for the Olympics. The argument often used is that given the paucity of resources it is nigh impossible to compete with developed countries. Not sure if Sir Austin included Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad in his definition of developed countries.

It was a week to hear from the veteran sports administrators it seems, Steve Stoute the longstanding head of the Barbados Olympic Association since 1996 announced he will NOT be standing for re-election next time around. He took the opportunity to give some insight that a highlight of his stewardship will occur this year -for the Rio Olympics there will be a Caribbean commentary team. The region has had to suffer through North American feeds of the Olympics all through the years, although it must be stated given our predilection for things foreign we have to wait on the feedback on the regional focused commentary.

Two weeks ago there was another news item which caught BU’s attention. Our top sprinter Levi Cadogan assured a sports reporter he will qualify for the 100m. He shared that he had to work through a few issues with his mechanics.

After the London Olympics BU listened to the post analysis with interest. Stakeholders promised they would do all that was required to ensure we gave our athletes the best chance at being competitive in Rio. Based on our observation of the local track and field scene, the only local athlete with a good chance at being competitive will be Akela Jones.

What is the current state of the National Stadium?

If we look at track and field meets across the region especially in Jamaica and Bahamas, an integral part of the process is the rivalry. Integral to the rivalry is the spectator support. We cannot be serious about growing a successful track and field program with no fully functional national stadium.

A reminder there was the embarrassment of the organizers unable to host BSSAC and NAPSAC. These two tournaments target primary and secondary athletes and are critical to the early development of the local athlete.

A serious national sports program will create opportunities for our young people. It will help to nurture a national psyche which lends itself to developing pride in country. Not to forget the health and well being of a nation.


2 Comments on “A Serious National Sports Program a Must”

  1. de pedantic Dribbler May 31, 2016 at 7:05 AM #

    David, it appears that what was missing from this blog to generate lots of feedback was a white shadow lurking. Maybe if Maloney or Bizzy had been contracted to rebuild the Nat Stadium then this point you have raised would have had a swift move out of the BU starting blocks.

    Or is it what you said on another blog that we Bajans like to wuk-up pon politics and things so but seem much less interested in other deeper social discourse; or have we just talked this one to death already!!

    We can say what we like about the rabid political tribalism in Jamaica and Trinidad but they have been able to develop and grow their athletics programs – in fact we can say their sporting programs overall – whereas we have had comparatively piddling success.

    And it does bare examination because when we were only 250K peeps way back then we would put cricket lashes on their collective three plus million backsides. So our size apparently was not an impediment then.

    But of course their population or their economies must have grown exponentially greater than ours because our current ‘smaller’ 250 peeps now struggling (in last several years): Jam and T&T washed our cricket team in licks; we can never beat them in football – not in my life-time surely; and as chronicled above by our local athletics’ chief we much too small to match the big maguffies in track and field.

    Ah well. So by the time you come back to this next time they would haf to be some white shadow involved some how and the interest wud be sky high.,,

    …. leh we get some of de Europeans fellas to come and ride pon de track again and ask Bizzy for a sizeable donation to update de stade…then sign he up wid a contract to put on a cycling extravaganza for next 20 years… if he build we a really cool new stade. Naturally, de contract will include set-asides and inducements that regardless of how many people attend dat extravaganza dat Bizzzy would still get a million $$ ea year.

    Den we cooking wid interest! Why yah think???


  2. David May 31, 2016 at 11:22 AM #

    @Dee Word

    To the first part of your prolix 🙂 we are not as intelligent and educated as we think?

    To fully explore the talents of our people in the world of athletics we have to move from the point of lip service to allocating resources. If sports is a legit avenue to improve the lot of our people, especially the youth, we need put up or shut up!


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