Newly appointed Commissioner of Sports Colin James has said he wants one of his many focuses to be on the development of women in sports.
The former Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) senator was recently confirmed in the position by Cabinet, becoming the country’s first sports commissioner in almost two decades.
James said he has already submitted some of those plans to the Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew.
“How can the ministry and how can the government sustain a serious and long-lasting women’s development programme? Not only concentration on leagues like basketball, football and other sports, but how we can really put women’s sports on a different path where we could have the development going forward and these national leagues can be as sustainable as the men’s leagues,” he said.
A former minister of state within the Ministry of Sports, James also pointed to sports tourism as an area he’d like to tackle.
“If we can get a better hold of our sports tourism product I think . . . that could [also] enhance our sports . . . Also, I believe that we can seek new investment in sports in terms of getting new investors, new sponsors and new opportunities for sports in Antigua and Barbuda on a whole,” he said.
The sports administrator identified a number of other areas where he believes he could lend assistance.
“I would want to see a continued focus on the development of our playing facilities whether [they] may be on grass, courts or wherever [they] may be. I would still like to see us work as studiously as we can to make every effort to bring whatever existing programmes there may be within the ministry up to even a better standard than they are, because I don’t believe in being complacent in terms of what would have been done or what is going on.
“I always look to see how we can improve and make things better,” James said.
The commissioner of sports position was last held by EP Chet Greene in 1999. Greene is the current parliamentary representative for the St. Paul Constituency.