Sports minister announces return of sports & games

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The Community Development Sports & Games Department is poised to make its return this year. This is according to Minister of Sports, EP Chet Greene, who signalled the organisation’s return during his presentation on the 2018 budget. “We continue to lose athletes between the schools programmes and the national associations progammes and that the Sports & Games department is the vehicle through which we will hone those talents and keep young Antiguan athletes involved actively,” Greene said.
“Each year I’ve placed this in my report but this year, with an allocation of $10.5 million allocated to sports in the estimates, I am pleased to report the return of the Sports & Games department,” he added. The department, which will be headed by former national and West Indies cricketer Kenneth Benjamin, will hold responsibility for a number of key functions regarding sports within communities across Antigua.
“One, it will serve as the connecting arm between school sports and association sports. Two, it will serve to prolong the athletic life of our athletes through the organisation of community sports and masters programmes to include business league concepts. Three, it will develop a sustainable sports scholarship programme,” Greene said. “Point number four, they will provide mentoring and facilitate the transitioning of our elite athletes from amateur sports to professional sports, and the fifth area of responsibility for the return of the Sports & Games department will be the economy of sports. To attract international events to this country, to make sure that this country benefits from this trillion-dollar industry,” the minister added.
The return of the Sports & Games department, Greene said, is in honour of founder and former head, Fitzroy Brann. “He proved that sports could be used as a vehicle for upward mobility, for empowerment and so the return of the Sports & Games in the 2018 estimates, a department to be headed by my own villager, former West Indies pacer Kenneth Benjamin, will be dedicated to the honour and service of Mr. Fitzroy Brann,” he said. The Community Development Sports & Games Department, Greene said, will focus primarily on cricket, tennis and golf in its first cycle.

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