By Kimberley Cummins
Former Olympian and internationally known windsurfer Brian “de Action Man” Talma has kept his election promise.
In collaboration with president of CATS International Sports, Justin Catlin, Talma officially launched the first event of his Global Organic Tourism Organic Master Plan today. As Talma noted during his failed bid at elective politics earlier this year, the vision for the plan is to empower communities by way of locals engaging in beach culture to create economic prosperity.
At the press conference to launch the first event at deAcTioN Shop, Silver Sands, Christ Church today, Talma said it will kick off on December 5 with the Waterman Festival and Beach Culture World Championship that runs until the 12th. Talma’s plan is geared towards the continued development of the niche tourism beach culture sector which he has promoted for some 35 years across the island.
“Organic tourism is when you do business with the people of the community and promote them, and the businesses in the community create healthy minds where everybody feels a part of it—and prosperous and people make money and you have a safe neighbourhood. And I am really happy about what I have done here in Silver Sands- it’s finished. There are businesses, apartments, bars and it is functioning,” he explained.
The initiative encompasses several areas including education, culture, sport and art. Through education, he hopes to empower people to learn about surfing but also teach them about self-employment. Culture is part of the whole vision because while he believes it is good to have a lot of visitors going to beaches across the island, there still needs to be a
strong culture within society so it does not get diluted.
Catlin, a national hockey player, endorsed Talma’s plan as a beautiful enterprise for sustainable development for Barbados with the possibility for spin-offs in other Caribbean territories. He also explained that the event will see the unique incorporation of several sports, field hockey, cricket, football and athletics with beach culture. And he invited people and businesses from all communities to come out and take in the action.
“Overall, we just looking to continue promoting the Global Organic Tourism Master Plan in a unique way for sports and beach culture. We want to have a lot of Barbadians and pretty much the whole of Barbados come down, even if you aren’t participating, and have a look and let’s continue to develop our communities, promote beach culture
and then let’s take it to another level,”
Catlin said while noting he expects it will be a success.
Some of the world’s top pros in windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddle surfing and surf are also expected to be in attendance.