Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Newly elected president of the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation (CAREBACO), Jamaica's Audley Astwood, plans to give more players international exposure and experience in order to move the sport forward on the world stage.
Astwood, also first vice-president of the Jamaica Badminton Asso-ciation (JBA), was elected to the top post in the region during the election in San Juan, Puerto Rico, last Saturday.
"We need to give more players international experience and exposure. We need to build players for the future," Astwood told The Gleaner on Tuesday, a day after he returned from Puerto Rico.
"We need assistance to help the countries in the region to raise the level closer to the Pan American region," Astwood said.
He pointed out that his presidency of CAREBACO, along with Vishu Tolan being the president of the Caribbean and Central American Confederation, as well as vice-president of the Badminton World Federation, is a clear indication of the confidence placed in Jamaicans by other countries.
"It shows that the region has confidence in us to lead the administration of the sport," Astwood expressed.
run for president
Meanwhile, Astwood disclosed his intention to run for presidency of the Jamaica Badminton Association at the election of officers on September 28. Tolan will not be seeking re-election because of his involvement in the wider region and the world body.
Looking back at Jamaica's performance at the recently concluded CAREBACO Championship, where they walked away with a total medal haul of 21, Astwood said: "Our performance was excellent this year, especially by the Wilson brothers (Shane and Sean). Samuel Ricketts is regarded as our best male player, and he did well in reaching the semi-finals of the Under-19 competition that was open to players from outside the region."
"Our main focus is youth development in Jamaican badminton," said Astwood, who has been involved in the sport for more than 40 years .