JIS News

Some 50 delegates from 11 countries, and representatives from several international sporting bodies will participate in a three-day Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Taskforce on Sport conference, to be held from Thursday, September 22 to Saturday, September 24 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Downtown, Kingston.
Anne Shirley, Senior Adviser to Local Government, Community Development and Sport Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, made the announcement today (September 20) at a press conference held at the Ministry’s Hagley Park Road offices.
Delegates attending the meeting, Miss Shirley informed, would comprise Sport Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, and Olympic committee members from various Caribbean nations, as well as representatives from the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA), the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The upcoming conference follows a Taskforce meeting held in Barbados in June this year, where a number of sports related issues were discussed, particularly the free movement of sports persons throughout the CARICOM region; the revival of the Senior Caribbean Games; and the development of a regional anti-doping programme.
Miss Shirley indicated that the same topics would be on the agenda once more to be thoroughly examined by delegates.
On the revival of the Senior Caribbean Games, she said the Taskforce was intent on rejuvenating a senior athletic meet, at which some of the best athletes within the Caribbean countries could compete on a regular basis.
The Senior Adviser said that as a result of World Cup Cricket 2007, “they [the Taskforce] are looking at having the Caribbean Games starting in 2009”. She said the year has been deliberately chosen by the Taskforce to coincide with the Pan American Games that is slated for 2009.
Turning to the subject of sport persons being granted freedom of movement within the Caribbean region as a proposed benefit of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), Miss Shirley said discussion on this issue was still underway.
“You are not just talking about coaches. There is a terminology that we have started using called athlete support personnel – managers, trainers, physiotherapists, cooks and various people – so the whole discussion is about what is the category of persons you are looking at, and what is going to be the criteria under which they can move,” she said.
Miss Shirley told journalists that in relation to the anti-doping protocols being implemented by WADA, the international agency was actively seeking to establish a regional anti doping association by working with the national Olympic Committees in each country.
“The idea that they [WADA] have is looking at establishing regional organisations in a lot of the countries where it would be very difficult, very expensive and hard for countries to set up a doping programme,” she said, noting that the international goal was for athletes worldwide to be tested and to participate in sporting events under the same conditions.