Members of the Barbados Pride cricket team, cricketers who participate in the Elite and Division One competitions of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), and those enrolled at the Everton Weekes Centre of Excellence, will soon be receiving insurance coverage against accidents and injuries.
President of the BCA, Conde Riley, in acknowledging the importance and the benefits of the initiative, told Barbados TODAY the plan was initially to have the coverage in place before the start of the season. That did not materialise but he added that everything was now on track to have the insurance coverage in place before the end of the year.
“Over the last couple of years, we have spent a lot of money on injuries for players and the management staff at the BCA’s secretariat has been exploring a number of accident and injury policies in an attempt to determine the ones that are best suited to cover the players. We have been holding discussions with an insurance broker to see how we can provide insurance coverage for the players,” Riley said.
“At present, there is a proposal which the board has discussed already and I am hopeful by the end of the year we will have a policy that will cover the Barbados Pride, the Elite and Division One and all of the players at the Centre of Excellence as far as accidents and injuries are concerned. Last year we spent over $100,000 on back and knee surgeries and back injuries for some of the players who represented Barbados Pride. I think it is prudent to have cover for our players,” he added.
Riley also disclosed that the long overdue indoor practice facility would soon be in place at Kensington Oval and would be housed in the Armstrong Building behind the Greendige and Haynes Stand. He explained that one of the legacies of the 2007 World Cup was the acquisition of the Armstrong Building and the designs for an indoor facility in the building were draw by the architects and approved.
“I think that it is time for us as a new board to complete the development of the Oval and establish the indoor facility. I believe this would add to our development programme. The BCA and the Cricket Franchise of Barbados will not be constrained by the time of the day with regards to their training. Until we construct the indoor facility, Kensington will not be complete, and it will not be as attractive a venue as it could be without the facility. I say this with a view of attracting English Counties for pre-training tours which will be good for our sports tourism as well as our training at the Centre of Excellence. We have male and female cricketers in the various age groups at the Centre all week. In the event of the weather, they are constrained. When the facility is built, it will be fully utilized,” Riley said.
He explained that when the Gymnasium was being refurbished, its office was moved from Wildey to the Armstrong Building.
“Now that the Gymnasium is completed, I am hoping that the building will be handed over to the BCA so that we can start working on the indoor facility. We have the drawings, it is only a matter of getting clearance from the Ministry of Sports so we can start the construction process,” he said.
Riley said four more outdoor practice nets should be added at Kensington to give the Centre of Excellence and the Barbados Pride team more rotation.
“If this is done, we will always have grass and proper net facilities outdoors, this is something that I also wanted to include in our development plans,” Riley said.
He revealed that the BCA would be having a retreat soon where all of the various committees would give input into the Development Plan 2018 to 2022.
“I have said before that what we need to do right now is to pay attention to our two main stakeholders – the nursery which is our primary and secondary schools and our clubs especially the Elite and First Divisions. Most of these clubs have Intermediate and Second Division teams. So once we focus on the Elite and First Division clubs in terms of facilities, structure and training for our coaches, then our cricket will be in good hands going forward,” Riley stated.
He added: “The programme at the Centre of Excellence is being closely looked at by the chairman Roland Butcher and I am hoping that all of the various initiatives will be captured in the Development Plan so that we will have one document, and one vision going forward,” Riley said.
He added the development plan should be completed by the end of the year.