The Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports and Community Development will soon be developing a Sports Policy aimed at assisting young athletes develop their craft.
Minister of State with specific responsibility for Youth and Sports, Hon. Oscar George says that the Sports Policy will cover numerous variables for athletes in Dominica.
He noted that the Ministry hopes to have an approved policy by the end of 2023.
“We at the Ministry of Sports will also be taking steps to develop a Sports Policy. I believe that this is something that has been outstanding for a very long time and I think that this is something that we really have to push. I know that we have done some work in that regard; we have a task force in place and I believe that they are meeting very regularly but we have to push some key variables in that regard. And that policy will speak to a number of key areas such as giving players time off to partake in sporting activities, the issue of insurance, and a number of other areas that’s very important for sports development. So I personally, along with the PS, will be pushing that to ensure that at least by the end of the year we can have an approved Sports Policy,” Hon. George stated.
The Sports Policy will also result in the establishment of a sports council.
“Stemming from the policy, we will also see the development and establishment of a sports council. There have been a lot of concern in terms of the whole administration of sports in Dominica and I believe that a Sports Council with representatives from all sporting disciplines will be better positioned to administer sports as a single body. I believe that some work has been done in that regard. So we have a structure, we have a framework with which we can work with. Obviously we will have to amend certain parts of it but it is something that we have to do going forward, and I believe that I the upcoming period, we will meet with the associations, meet with the athletes and get their intake in order to finalize the Sports Council,” the Sports Minister explained.
The establishment of a Sports Trust Fund is also a priority for the Ministry Of Sports. This fund will assist athletes to purchase equipment and other necessities required for their sporting discipline.
“And of course, stemming from the Policy and the Council, we have the Sports Trust Fund, and that I also a very important aspect of our sports development, because I am moving around and I get a lot of requests for assistance to purchase gears. It’s a serious issue; cricket for instance is a very expensive sport. A kit costs upwards from a thousand dollars, sometimes two to three thousand dollars, and having a young cricketer, 15-16 years, he’s not going to come up with that money to purchase a kit. So I think if we have this trust fund, and then we capitalize it from funds from the CBI programme, we can work with the associations, identify our players and have a structure in place to purchase gears and equipment and supplies for our teams. I think that is important for us but to get to that point it is important that we get the Sports Policy approved, it’s important that the Sports Council be established and functioning and then we can draft the terms and conditions for this Sports Trust Fund which is very important,” Minister George added.