Barbados Independence Invitational Games hosted by the Barbados Olympic Association promises to be bigger and better with a two-day festival on November 3 and 4 when the third edition gets underway, says chairman Cameron Burke.
During this morning’s launch at the Barbados Olympic Association, Burke explained that for 2018 they had partnered with the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation to stream the event.
He said the multi-sport event was intended to exhibit characteristic of Olympic values such as excellence, friendship and respect, as the games take on a more regional and international approach over the next 40 days when 23 sports disciplines come together to make the games a success.
On the card for this year will be beach soccer for the first time along with wrestling, weightlifting, judo, netball and rugby just to name a few.
Sandra Osborne, president of the BOA, during her remarks said all were welcome to participate in the games and encourage Barbadians to get active. What was more significant was that the BOA president gave early notice that in the coming months, the local organization intended to put forward its two-prong focus for Barbadian elite athletes as part of a developmental programme.
“It is our wish that the games send an encouraging signal to all Barbadians not only to get active but to excel, and what better way but to compete in a sport. In the coming months, you will hear the BOA two-prong focus on sports for elite athlete development and sport for all in the fulfillment of our mandate from the international Olympic committee.
“One of the ways that we believe we can transform lives through sports is by increasing participation. These games, therefore, play a critical role in bringing sports to communities whether spectators attending, seeing the games on TV or follow them on social media. It is our goal to showcase to them the sports of all thirty-six of our national federations,” Bourne said.
Rodwell London, CBC’s acting general manager, said their mandate was to inform, educate and entertain. And as the lone national television broadcasting state agency and partners for the games, their primary role would be to showcase the best sporting talent Barbados had to offer.
“We are committed to exposing the public to the quantity and quality of local, regional and international sport. For these games, we will bring live coverage on both radio and CBC television in addition to features on some of the sports and athletes. We unite not around a cause, but a need, a need to embrace and support our athletes and a need to assist in the growth here in Barbados. Like the BOA, CBC shares the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship, the Barbadian motto of Pride and Industry and the sporting characteristics of passion and performance,” said London, who challenged all partners of the event to continue building partnerships that would impact Barbados’ sporting legacy in time to come.
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc is also on board as a major stakeholder and representative Devon Chase who is, in fact, the sports manager expressed that despite the limited financial resources, the decision to support the BIIG Games was an easy one.
According to Chase, the arrival of visitors to the island contributed to BTMI’s willingness to support the games as they seek to promote Barbados as a premier sports destination.
Every year in November sporting federations which are part of the Olympic movement come together in their various associations and put on tournaments to coincide with Independence. Next month the public will get a glimpse of what Barbados has to offer competitively, as nine countries from the Caribbean region have confirmed their participation.
Ytannia Wiggins, one of the members for the local Olympic committee, said they were four nations scheduled to visit Barbados – United States of America, Scotland, Samoa and England. However, she explained that those numbers might change because some federations had not fully completed their registration.