Sports and Games

Akeela Jones, Barbados 'ONLY world class athlete.

Akeela Jones, Barbados’ ONLY world class athlete.

The decision to send a team to participate in the 2014 Commonwealth Games comprised of 104 athletes and officials has stuck in the BU throat like a fish bone. Barbados was represented in Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling Road, Cycling Track, Judo, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis and Triathlon. Compared to Bahamas which sent 45 athletes to the same games reported to be the largest ever, a few questions need to be directed at decision makers of the national sports program in Barbados because we continue to make sport at sports. No need to mention that Jamaica sent a 114 member team to the same games.

BU appreciates that the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) should not be involved in the management of the individual sports association but he who pays the piper calls the tune.  The fogies who administer sports in Barbados must have known there was no justification to send netball, badminton, rugby, shooting and a few other teams to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Affected by scarce financial resources, the result of prolonged depressed economic economies in many Caribbean countries, isn’t there a reasonable expectation that judicious decisions must be seen to be made by our leaders? If the average Barbadian were to have been asked if any of the teams sent to the 2014 Commonwealth Games had a chance to achieve fourth position the answer would probably have been a resounding no! The track and field team was the only team to reach the finals in their events.

Would it not have made more sense to carve out a significant slice of the 2014 Commonwealth Games budget to give high level exposure to athletes in dire need of exposure, instead of unrealistically expecting them to move from B standard to A standard performance expecting gold, silver and bronze performances ? Here is what Neil Murrell, Acting Director of Sports at the National Sports Council had to say when he greeted the team on their return from Glasgow.

We know that the finances would not be what we had in the past and we would obviously have to look at selectively choosing the teams that we feel would give us a chance at a medal,” said Murrell. He noted that they were aware that the athletes needed exposure to a lot of high level competition in order to effectively compete at the standard of the Commonwealth Games.

BU was unforgiving last year in response to the bungling that resulted in the cancellation of NAPSAC and BSSAC last year.  We were also sceptical about Barbados’ ability to mobilize after the London Olympics to be ready for the Rio 2016 Olympics.  The unsupported optimism by chef de mission Cameron Burke of the BOA that the performance of the team at the 2014 Commonwealth was encouraging is bullshit to be frank. Burke has not done his credibility any good by couching his report about Barbados Commonwealth Games performance in diplomatic lingo.

We are about 711 days until the 2016 Olympics. What realistic expectations should Barbadians  have about the health of our national sports program to produce quality athletes. BU is steadfast to the view that a vibrant sports program is mandatory for a small country like Barbados especially with trending youth unemployment in high double digits.

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76 responses to “Sports and Games

  1. Desmond worked for the Barbados Department of Transportation. One day he woke up ill, with a touch of laryngitis-but-being a dedicated employee he went to work. The boss felt rather sorry for him and didn’t want him to do any physical labour-as they were repairing a part of the highway
    “Desmond” he says “why don’t you go down the road and tell people to slow down going through the construction”
    Desmond is glad for the easy day: He stops the first vehicle:
    “Sir” he whispers, his throat feeling worse “please slow down, there’s a Government crew up ahead”
    “Okay” the guy whispers back “I’ll try not to wake them.”


  2. The US Attorney General Holder, parents were born in Barbados.

    Hants and Colonel…..that’s why it’s called brainwash ‘capitalist’ education, to make you the fool. We know that now, don’t think anyone is interested in changing it though.


  3. another problem that is well entrenched in sports in barbados is the issue of classism…an issue which is slightly touch… but like an overgrown vine rubs itself and uproot those seeds which are aspiring to be giants in the fields of athletic ,,,,


  4. We have been searching for a Barbados government website that deals with Youth Affairs.


  5. Life Changer +

    “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~Lao Tzu

    Each step you take toward a bigger goal might not seem like much. It may seem like you’re not really doing much at all. This will be especially true of any outside observers. Others might think you’re not getting anywhere, that you’re not getting anything done. That’s why you have to have a lot of confidence in where you’re going. You need to be clear about where you want to end up so that you have the conviction that the small steps you are taking will eventually get you to where you want to be, and you can squash any naysayers.


  6. @ David
    So what happened to the grand “new youth policy” proclaimed by little Hitler?


  7. @Bush Tea

    Perhaps it can be found the same place where the Antiquities Bill languishes.


  8. In the opening paragraph of this blog David said the team sent to the 2014 Commonwealth Games was comprised of 104 athletes and officials.

    In the BOA website a list of the Barbados Commonwealth Games Contingent 2014 is at

    In a quick count I come up with 70 names of athletes.

    That leaves 34 “officials”

    Seems like most of the athletes were in over their heads.

    The 34 officials, on the other hand, must have been right in their element – 5 Star traveling, wining and dining amongst themselves at the expense of the ordinary taxpayers.


  9. @DD

    The good thing about the numbers is the 2 to 1 ratio, the parents of the athletes must have been very happy.


  10. Oh, and don’t forget, there will be team going off to Pan Am 2015 games in Toronto in just over 10 months.



  11. David

    Those 34 must have been very expensive chaperones, if indeed they found any time for the athletes.


  12. @ DD
    Don’t get carried away.
    In high level sport, the role of the officials is often MORE crucial to any kind of success than is the athlete.
    Managers, coaches and trainers….not to mention doctors and physios are CRITICAL components of any serious team.
    …and it is NOT always fun and games for these officials either….it can be quite hectic….

    Having said that, there will always be those officials who take advantage of the situation and whose poor performances may well be the CAUSE of poor athlete performances….
    ….ask Oba about Mr. “I want a Plantation” :)

    The athletes then get the blame and these un-named officials get to continue their poor performances year after year with new athlete “scrape goats”. Why do you think it is that in more enlightened countries the OFFICIALS are kicked out when performances are below par…..?

    In BB Barbados we dump the athletes while the administrators hang around for decades…..making asinine excuses….
    This is why so many promising young talents disappear from the scene…..


  13. @Hants

    You should check LH’s FB’s page. He let it all out.

    @Bush Tea

    The importance of the administrator is not in question but there must be a positive relationship in resources allocated to support international meets and predetermined benchmarks.


  14. Bush Tea

    @ DD
    Don’t get carried away.

    In high level sport, the role of the officials is often MORE crucial to any kind of success than is the athlete.
    Managers, coaches and trainers….not to mention doctors and physios are CRITICAL components of any serious team.

    …and it is NOT always fun and games for these officials either….it can be quite hectic….

    ……..the administrators hang around for decades…..making asinine excuses….

    This is why so many promising young talents disappear from the scene…..

    Thank you – noted


  15. Concern Citizen

    This post was obviously written by someone that knows very little about the nature of sports who is just about being critical of everything going on in Barbados including our sports program. Barbados is facing a serious crisis not just economically but in our national identity. Stories like this only contribute further. Barbados should be commended for having that many athletes qualify for Commonwealth Games and should take every last one every time. Look at all the hundreds of English, Australians etc. that did not get a medal. If the opportunity to get a medal is the only reason for countries to take part in sport then no one should send a team. Please write something that makes sense and stop wasting people’s time pulling down the country.


  16. Colonel Buggy

    Bush Tea | August 25, 2014 at 8:48 AM |
    Managers, coaches and trainers….not to mention doctors and physios are CRITICAL components of any serious team.
    …and it is NOT always fun and games for these officials either….it can be quite hectic….
    And this was borne out recently, when apparently bad management, caused Suki to be almost stranded in Italy on a one-way ticket, and eventually not completing the tournament.


  17. @Concern Citizen

    You should also direct your comment to the government who through its spokesman the Acting Deputy Director of the NSC echoed the same concern as BU. His comment is quoted in the blog in case you need to have a reread. Remember there is no place for mediocrity in this world, those who strive for excellence stand to bead the odds to make it to the top.


  18. @ David
    Note that Concerned Citizen speaks about “qualifying” to participate.

    This is all about aiming for mediocracy. Perhaps this is our national objective….to get as many people on these tours as possible.
    Qualifying standards are the bare minimum levels of performance to be allowed to attend….and we have officials who brag about achieving this…
    Unless we can find leaders who understand the need to get athletes to be the VERY BEST that they can be….and who can encourage and support such goals, perhaps we do best to continue to assemble large tour groups.

    This is NOT a unique sports problem….it is a NATIONAL LEADERSHIP weakness.

    Compare Jamaica’s national sports leaders with our own – and you will see why that (financially challenged) country does so well compared to us….


  19. Athletic and sports development programs should include continuous education to make athletes employable after they stop competing.


  20. Each parent has a choice in their childrens edication here… In parts of America -The school rule known as “No Pass/No Play” is designed to motivate high school students to pass every class, or be barred from school-sponsored extracurricular activities. “No pass” means no football, no drama, no nothing, for students with failing grades.

    The rule sends some powerful messages about education.


  21. More than 10,000 athletes from around the world will compete in the upcoming Olympics. All have the same dream, to win a gold medal. But not all dreams are equal. Athletic training costs money, so athletes from rich nations will most likely win more medals than those from poor countries. How a country funds its Olympic program is not only an indicator of likely success, it also reflects each nation’s social and political values. So with the Island attorneys and ministers leading that “race” funding we are always assured of a timely responce.


  22. @Artax

    Send a note to this person:

    Forum to help revitalise City


    Forum to help revitalise City

    Sharon Christie, chairperson of The Revitalisation of Bridgetown Initiative. (GP)

    Wed, June 18, 2014 – 5:07 PM

    Chairperson of The Revitalisation of Bridgetown Initiative (TRBI) Sharon Christie will attend the United States and Latin American Mayors’ Forum which is being hosted by the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) in Dallas, tomorrow and Friday.

    More than 300 U.S. mayors and private sector representatives will converge at the forum to exchange ideas and best practices in urban development.

    TRBI is hoping to gain additional information on the innovative public private partnerships that have revived Dallas’ urban areas with a view of adapting it to revitalise the City of Bridgetown as well as draw on the various models used to advance sustainable cities.

    TRBI was formed through the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) to stimulate increased economic and social activity within the nation’s capital. Christie has chaired the TRBI project for over two years and has played an integral role in the BCCI’s strides towards breathing new life into our city.

    “The BCCI is grateful to the Inter-American Development Bank for their ongoing support of the BCCI’s drive towards Local Economic Development and the ESCI project,” say BCCI Executive Director Lisa Gale.  (PR)


  23. “Investigators in the US and the UK revealed that BCCI had been “set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection.” Unquote

    “B.C.C.I. was a full-service bank,” says an international arms dealer who frequently worked with the clandestine bank units.

    “They not only financed arms deals that one government or another wanted to keep secret, they shipped the goods in their own ships, insured them with their own agency and provided manpower and security. They worked with intelligence agencies from all the Western countries and did a lot of business with East bloc countries.”

    Should we be associate in a financial marriage – bearing in mind the facts –
    is the blog master suggesting further transparency – or is he advocating we just accept money from anywhere ?


  24. LOL
    Ha Ha Ha
    Ohhhhhh shiRT!!!!


  25. Bushie stop laughing.

    The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was a major international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier.[1] The Bank was registered in Luxembourg with head offices in Karachi and London. Within a decade BCCI touched its peak. It operated in 78 countries, had over 400 branches, and had assets in excess of US$20 billion, making it the 7th largest private bank in the world by assets.[2][3]


  26. @ Hants
    True dat!

    But according to David| August 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM
    “TRBI was formed through the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) to stimulate increased economic and social activity within the nation’s capital.”


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