This island’s Minister of Sport would like to see national athletes properly compensated for their outstanding contributions.
In fact, Stephen Lashley believes that once a sportsperson’s career is over, Government should ensure that they are taken care of financially.
He made the comments in Parliament today during debate on a resolution to grant 25,000 square feet of land at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex on a 25-year lease to the Rotary of Barbados South for construction of a facility for children with disabilities.
“I believe that sportspersons, particularly those who have served at the national level, should not have to worry about work in Barbados. That is a philosophy that I hold, but the issue is how do we deal with it,” Lashley explained.
“I believe that our sportspersons ought to be guaranteed proper employment when they have finished their course of duty at the national level.
“Our sportspersons who have served at the national level should not have to be in dire straits and should not have to be looking around for a job here and there. The state has a responsibility to those sportspersons and we are looking at that . . . but it is not an issue which can be dealt with overnight,” he added.
The Minister revealed they were currently working towards implementing a new Sports Development Legislation.
Once completed, he said it would usher in a new era in terms of how sports were viewed.
“We have been doing the focus group sessions with the various groups and organizations and the intention is to come up with a white paper which would set the tone for a new sports policy in Barbados and recalibrate the whole focus on sports dimension.
“That is where we want to position sports in Barbados and you have my assurance that we will get there in terms of how we move forward with sports,” Lashley promised.