Barbados Olympic Association president, Sandra Osborne says the organisation would continue to execute its mission of supporting local athletes by providing funding and programmes to aid their all-round development.
Speaking at the association’s Awards Wednesday night, Osborne said while the last year had not been one of the most active in terms of international events, the BOA had continued to carry out the initiatives necessary to faciltiate athlete growth.
“We fielded a team to the Commonwealth Youth Games in July. However, we remain very active with our funding programs and scholarships to elite athletes having determined scholarships and contracted elites for the Olympiad commencing in 2017,” Osborne said.
“The recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Japan to facilitate pre-game training for Barbadian Olympians for Tokyo 2020 is among a number of steps taken by the BOA to charter the development of our athletes and their success going forward,” Osborne said.
She also made mention of the Olympic Academy successfully hosting the inaugural IOC athlete career program design to assist athletes in transitioning from the athletes’ world to the world of work.
“The Olympic academy hosted hundred of students at the Olympic museum during 2017 and increased its activities in coaching, sports management and anti-doping education,” she noted.
“We are one of the few national Olympic associations in the region to be conducting the IOC’s advance sports management course, and our agreement with the coaching association of Canada, has led to a number of sessions aimed at enhancing our coaching expertise.”
The first female head of the BOA having succeeded past president, Steve Stoute – whom she saluted and give special mention to during the awards ceremony – Osborne shared her vision with those in attendance including the stakeholders.
“It is important to acknowledge that my tenure has cast against a background of a successful legacy and an enviable reputation built by the BOA as a leader in the Caribbean Olympic movement, which my predecessor, immediate past president, Steve Stoute has shaped and led over the last half century – 21 years of which at the helm as president,” she said.
With the intention to build on the formidable legacy of Stoute, Osborne added: “Passing the baton is building on this rich legacy by taking responsibility for taking future direction. My commitment is to continue to build the BOA into a national Olympic committee that remains committed to believing that sports as the power to transform lives.”
“This means we must develop and emerging athletes while at the same time increasing our investment in sports for development. My vision is premised on the recognition that our athletes must always be at the center of everything we do.
“We as sports administrators exist solely to support our athletes; as such we must continually strive to improve the environment in which our athletes can optimize their performance in clean and fair competition.” (ML)