Sports Safeguards for Students to be Developed

Photo: Michael Sloley Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (standing), emphasises a point during the Senate’s sitting on September 23.

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will spearhead an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce being established to develop safeguards that protect youngsters participating in sporting activities.
  • This was disclosed by Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, during Friday’s (September 23) sitting of the Senate.
  • Senator Reid further said Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, would outline details of these and other interventions in a presentation to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 28.

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will spearhead an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce being established to develop safeguards that protect youngsters participating in sporting activities.

The committee will look at, among other things, introducing crucial protocols, guidelines and regulations; training and capacity building; enforcement procedures; and resource mobilisation.

This was disclosed by Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, during Friday’s (September 23) sitting of the Senate.

The decision comes in the wake of the sudden and untimely passing of St. George’s College Manning Cup Captain, Dominic James, who collapsed during a football match at the stadium east field in Kingston on September 20.

Senator Reid said the immediate focus was “what we can do through intergovernmental collaboration, particularly involving the Ministries of Education, Health and Sport, to keep our children safe on the fields of play”.

He said since the tragedy occurred, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has engaged stakeholders in dialogue on proposed measures to prevent or decrease the likelihood of a recurrence.

Senator Reid further said Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, would outline details of these and other interventions in a presentation to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 28.

He indicated that a policy framework, entitled ‘Safety Guidelines for Contact Sports’, was developed in 2008 and revised in 2015.

Its provisions recommend, among other things, that all participants receive medical clearance to participate in sports; and that communication channels to parents/guardians, health providers and emergency caregivers, especially in emergency situations, be provided.

It also states that immediate first aid must be available from trained providers whenever games are in progress; and that first-aid equipment be available on site.

Responding to questions from Opposition Senator, Mark Golding, regarding a formal enquiry into the incident involving Dominic James, the Minister said “we are certainly interested in having an enquiry into whether those guidelines were followed”.

“All schools are required to report critical incidents to the Ministry. So it follows naturally that we will have to have some audit of whether the policies and procedures were being followed,” he added.

Meanwhile members of the Senate expressed condolences to the family and friends of the late St. George’s College student.

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