Barbados is set to have a new sport-related co-operative structure – the Barbados Sport Co-operative Society Limited (BSCSL). This new Society aims to create a space for members to thrive while contributing to the overall development of a national sporting industry.
Membership will be open to all Barbadians, especially those in the sporting sector, including athletes, clubs, federations and institutions as well as sport-related professionals and entrepreneurs.
Brent Gittens, Registrar of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies in Barbados has welcomed the initiative which he believes could significantly contribute to the growth and development of local sport.
“The establishment of the BSCSL means that, among other things, this Society has the capability to increase national engagement in sports and physical activity, and be a democratic mechanism for wealth creation for its members. Additionally, it will serve as a strong supportive structure for all Barbadian athletes whilst integrating co-operative values such as equality, cooperation and solidarity for everyone,” Gittens said.
Jamal Slocombe, Interim President and one of the Co-Founders of the BSCSL says one of the objectives of the Co-operative is to assist the sporting sector in becoming more self-sustainable, adding that there will be many potential benefits for members.
“We want to support a diverse group of sporting professionals from athletes and administrators, to sport entrepreneurs, and even fans,” Slocombe said.
“This Co-operative will aim to provide access to funding-support for athletes, seed funding for sporting entrepreneurs, as well as scholarships while offering members an opportunity to reap attractive dividends on their investment. There are no limits to what the Co-operative can achieve, as long as Barbadians come together and invest in the initiative,” he added.
The BSCSL plans to focus on being a catalyst for change with a strong commitment to our sporting community and will focus on playing a key role in strengthening the community within which we exist to serve.
The global co-operative movement, which marked July 3rd 2021 as International Co-operative Day, has been growing, even during the economic recession and financial meltdown, supporting a wide range of small and medium-sized enterprises. Research shows that globally, there are approximately one billion people actively involved in the co-operative movement, which generates around USS$2.4 billion in revenue.
The BSCSL is set to fully launch later this year.