Grange: National sports policy will cover all angles
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Minister of Sports, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, has admitted that a national sports policy document is taking longer than expected to enter the public realm, but has stressed the importance of covering all angles.
Grange who spoke to The Gleaner recently on a range of issues, sought to assure that timely steps are being taken to ensure that all stakeholders are made to understand all the elements of the document and what it will mean for the development of sports in the country.
"Sure it (sports policy framework document) has taken us a little time, some people may display impatience, but for the past two and a half years we have been able to cover a lot more than has been covered in the past. I can assure that it's going to be ready very soon," said Grange.
"We want to make sure that there is full understanding of what this policy means for all of us, and how we are going to go about implementing some of the programmes noted in the policy, especially in this economic climate."
The minister also shied away from placing a monetary figure on the cost of producing the document.
Achieve so much more with so little
"I don't want to put a figure on it right now because there are a number of things that would normally cost us a lot that we have been able to avoid due to creative means. At the end of this, I'm sure that I will be able to say that we have been able to achieve so much more with so little," Grange noted.
The policy will, by all reports, take on the theme of 'Sports for All', and is aimed at finding the winning formula through a set of policies which will not only guarantee economic development, but will also create greater opportunities and encourage wider involvement through all sectors.
"We are looking to position sports as a tool for economic development and so to promote and build a sports industry that will increase its contribution to the National Gross Domestic Product and the job pool," Grange pointed out. "This is a big part of our sports development and sports industry policy. I don't want to say too much at this point because I would want for it to be signed off by Cabinet before I go into details."
The Minister also pointed to sports tourism as a major component of the policy, and the need to use sports to foster social intervention and youth mainstreaming through greater effectiveness at schools and the wider community level.
"It's a major improvement of what we were seeing before and before long, we will be able to make the full contents public," Grange concluded.