Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 09, 2023 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Sports is pushing forward with the implementation of the National Sports Policy (NSP) and Strategic Plan 2022-2026, which seeks to enhance involvement in sports/physical activity, expand the role and influence of sports across various sectors while fostering the professional development of athletes. It also outlines the obligations of public and private sector stakeholders in achieving the wide-ranging objectives.
Members of the media were briefed on the ambitious objectives of the National Sports Policy at a press conference on Thursday, February 09, 2023. The press engagement featured updates from the Minister of Sports, the Honourable Samal Duggins, Chairman of the National Sports Council, Glenn Quinlan, Managing Director of the Thuso Group, Matthew Robert Goldie Scot, and Dr. Lin Sambili-Gicheha, Project Manager, Sport for Development and Peace at the Commonwealth Secretariat. The press conference was hosted by Valencia Syder, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports.
Minister Duggins noted that the NSP, funded by UNESCO, was originally launched in 2020. However, the rollout was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several gaps were identified in the policy, which prompted the ministry to seek assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Thuso Group was subsequently contracted.
The sports minister applauded the contribution of all involved who produced and revised the policy.
“It focuses itself around a number of goals, goals that are highly achievable and also very practical,” Honourable Duggins stated.
These goals relate to promoting health and wellness through physical activity, creating pathways to excellence, upgrading local sporting facilities, and enhancing sports enterprise opportunities, to name a few.
“This policy wraps itself around our international commitments as well because we are party to a number of treaties here in St. Kitts and Nevis. I am happy that this sports policy has taken into consideration its impact and its connection with these international treaties,” the minister expressed.
One such treaty relates to anti-doping. The Ministry of Sports is working closely with UNESCO to develop the necessary regulations that will govern this area. More information and how it relates to the NSP will be outlined at another forum.