More secondary and tertiary level students in Barbados are choosing Physical Education and related subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level, but they are not getting enough exposure to that field’s viability as a career option.
So it was against that background that Sports for Development Officer with the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) Daneka Headley, who is also the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Young Changemaker for Barbados, came up with the idea of staging a Sports Career Awareness Fair, which took place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this week.
“I studied Physical Education at the CSEC level and continued my studies in Sports Administration at both the Barbados Community College and UWI . . . . Following my educational background, I always wanted to know what else I could do, but the channels weren’t there. So I did all my research online and wanted to come up with something closer to home, so that sparked the idea to give children who were passionate about sports an idea of what careers they could get into and make a living,” she explained.
Today’s exhibition featured sporting organizations; a nutrition company which gave students guidelines on the correct diet for their disciplines based on their training schedules; companies specializing in massage therapy; professional athletes and Crossfit Barbados. Representatives from the United States Embassy and UWI were also on hand to discuss educational opportunities. The Embassy also provided information about scholarships available to athletes.
Headley said she personally went to every secondary school on the island with letters inviting them to send their students, and she was pleased at the response to the inaugural event.
“I was only expecting about 100 students to attend. Two hours into the exhibition, I have already seen over 300 and there are still some more schools to come,” she said when Barbados TODAY visited the showcase.
Headley said that while today’s event was a “one-off”, she wanted to see it become a national event with buy-in from the Government.
“The numbers doing the CXC Physical Education courses are increasing every year. So while the education element is there, what happens after that? I believe collaboration between the BOA, National Sports Council and Ministry of Sports might be a good idea for this going forward, to show that sports can be a lucrative career option and not just a recreational activity which is how most people see it now.” (DH)