Barbados Looking to Attract Athletes Training for 2016 Olympics
Above: Barbados (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Barbados is an ideal training ground for athletes preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, according to Sports Minister Stephen Lashley.
The Minister, who was addressing the Pan American Sports Organization’s executive meeting this weekend, said Barbados’ climate and location would make it a great “transition training ground.”
He pointed to new installations like the Mondo track at Barbados’ National Stadium and another new track soon to be completed at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
“We also have Olympic-standard swimming facilities and a gymnasium that caters to multiple indoors sports,” he said. “And our beautiful shores can accommodate canoeing and other water sports.”
That, he said, and Barbados’ direct air link with Brazil.
Drawing athletes for training would “attract inflows that are usually associated with major sports,” Lashley said. “Any time we have teams coming in from various countries they will spend … there is always a direct spillover to tourism. There is a specific strategy by the government to ensure that we can use tourism and sports as major vehicles of economic diversification.”
Barbados has quietly been increasing its sporting profile in recent years, in particular hosting training camps by professional sports teams including the Baltimore Ravens and UK football club Arsenal.