The Anhui Province of the People’s Republic of China has donated a substantial amount of sports equipment to the Government of Barbados for the sports programmes of the National Sports Council and the Wildey Gymnasium.
Valued at RMB Yuan 200,000, approximately BDS$64,000, the equipment includes table tennis boards, a basketball stand, gym equipment, as well as volleyball and basketball nets and balls.
A Chinese delegation, led by vice-governor of the Anhui Province, Xie Guangxiang, recently made the symbolic presentation to Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, at the Ministry’s office at Haggatt Hall, St Michael.
Thanking the Chinese for the contribution, Lashley said the equipment would help the National Sports Council and the Gymnasium to effectively and consistently deliver quality sporting programmes.
“Barbados has enjoyed excellent relations with China for many years, and coming on the heels of my official visit recently to Beijing and Shanghai, where we would have had some very detailed discussions in the area of cultural and sports collaboration, we now have another province, Anhui, basically taking that on and essentially moving forward the discussion that would have occurred, also recently, between the Prime Minister of Barbados and the President of the People’s Republic of China,” he explained.
Lashley noted that “tangible opportunities” such as the donation offered both countries a chance to “take the language from our various agreements and translate that into meaningful economic opportunities for both the people of China and the people of Barbados”.
Xie indicated that his province was seeking to strengthen relations with Barbados in the areas of culture, sports and tourism.
“This time, our visit is to enhance our cultural communications . . . . ,” he said.
Explaining that Anhui is an economically and culturally strong district with a population of over 70 million, he said there was a lot that his people could learn from Barbados.
He pointed out that this included the popular game cricket, as well as combining culture, sports and tourism to improve destination offerings.
The Chinese envoy added that China would continue to improve its mutual understanding and cooperation with the island through exchanges in areas such as martial arts and table tennis.
He further asserted that the Anhui Province was willing to provide training and sports scholarships for Barbados’ elite athletes.
Barbados and China established diplomatic relations on May 30, 1977.