Youth Not a Priority – BDF Sports Program on the Brink
The news that the Barbados Defence Force Sports Program is again threatened with being shutdown should be a big concern for Barbadians. Full credit must be given to the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) for bankrolling the program when the threat first surfaced 2019.
For years the blogmaster has expressed concern about the lack of a comprehensive sports policy by successive governments. Any society unable to give hope to its young people will have to battle with the consequences. It is a matter of public record that BEFORE the pandemic youth unemployment rate hovered around 30%. Without a national youth policy there has been an inevitable crumbling of physical and social structures. The national stadiums are an embarrassment if compared to many of our regional neighbours. By the way, have you observed it is standard for responsibility for youth affairs to be tagged to a junior minister of government. What message does it send to the youth?
Although a comprehensive youth program should not be 100% sports oriented, it is a significant component. In today’s world sports is a pathway to access academic and economic opportunities. As important is the opportunity being missed to create cohesion in the society with our youth feeling incentivized to be connected to society. Almost all of our sports associations are mired at different levels of mismanagement.
Kudos to Walter Blackman for keeping this egregious state of affairs on the front burner on Thursday’s as host of VOB’s Brasstacks Show. The opportunity loss for Barbados not spending $400,000 to manage the BDF program makes it a no-brainer that funds should be reallocated post haste to fix the problem, if it has not been addressed by the time of posting.
Is it a reasonable expectation the same level of protest from John and Jane Public reacting to an increase in the price of sweet drinks should be louder for the closing of the BFD sports program? How can we be that numb (not dumb) as a people to be insensitive to the implications.