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.
The following was received by email and the name of the emailer withheld for obvious reasons.
Anonymous soldier cries out
I was in the Defence Force for 12 years and was discharged with exemplary conduct. However on my final interview I was not given a reason for my discharge or why my contract was not renewed . Up to this day I don’t know why I was discharge by Col Alvin Quintyne.
I went to the labour office and they told me they don’t deal with Government cases, next I went to the Ombudsman, he did not even ask a question and I never even heard from him, then I wrote to the Chairman of the Defence Board nothing. Note I have been a patient from 2005 and in my discharge certificate I have been discharged as fit – is this lawful?
The Barbados Defense Force is the name given to the combined armed forces of Barbados. The BDF was established August 15th, 1979, and has responsibility for the territorial defense and internal security of the island.
There are three main components of the BDF:
Force Headquarters — provided administrative and logistical support for the entire force
The Barbados Regiment — this is the main land force component, and encompasses both regular and reserve units.
Barbados Coast Guard — this is the maritime element, with responsibility for patrolling Barbados’ territorial waters as well as drug interdiction and humanitarian and life-saving exercises.
Barbados Cadet Corp — Military youth organisation. Includes Infantry and Sea Cadets
Increasingly as the crime situation deteriorates, our Barbados Defense Force (BDF) will be called upon to play an increasing role in domestic and regional security duties. They are many who believe that the small size of Barbados should make an army unnecessary in our neck of the woods. Two reasons which are readily offered by those anti-army are 1). the threat of a military to democratically elected governments and 2). the high cost of maintenance by countries with limited resources . Over the years we have witnessed our BDF being called to assist the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) on routine patrols, participating in disaster efforts, ceremonial duties at national events to name a few. BU sides with the view that the BDF has been used to absorb mostly young males as a strategy to keep them employed over the years. In recent times the BDF has been unable to attract applicants which meet the basic enrollment qualification. It has become a source of concern in certain quarters. If the BDF is to replenish soldiers who retire, resign, dismiss or leave through other means recruits will have to be found, and soon.
We can always rely on a member of the Bajan blogosphere to offer a view, read on: