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#461618 - 04/04/13 08:51 AM Belize's 1st National Sports Policy Plan
Marty Offline

Taking A Swing At Belize's First first National Sports Policy and Strategic Plan

Months ago, we told you about the Caribbean Consultants that had been hired to develop Belize's first National Sports Policy and Strategic Plan.

Well they've started their work with a consultation session today at the Belize Biltmore Best Western. It's a medium to long term sports policy that should chart the way forward - but first everyone has to get on the same page - and that's not easy when only counted 20 heads of association and federations showed up for what should have been a national consultation:

Allan Sharp - Chairman, National Sports Council
"Today, we're working on the Sports Act; which all of us in conversation has said that it needs to be addressed. It needs to be updated, and it needs to be this and that. Well, this is the opportunity here; the Minister has been very serious in - from day one to try and deal with this Sports Act, but the Sports Act is only part of it. We know the other challenges we have in terms of facilities, coaching, and in fact the whole culture of sports in Belize."

Hon. Herman Longsworth - Minister of State/Sports
"We also knew that we had to forge some kind of direction for sports in Belize. We've all been moving, but we've been moving in an "ad hoc" sort of fashion with no real direction, and so we insisted that there was the need for some kind of medium term policy that would dictate how we go. The main item on the T.O.R for the consultants was to ensure that they consulted; not only with you the leaders, but also the general populace to ensure that they hear - they hear, not just listen but hear - all that is being said out there. And then their job is to put everything together in as comprehensive a manner as possible, and then show us how we can achieve it. We don't want after the policy is written, to hear people say, 'We weren't a part of it and we don't like this, and we don't like that.' Please; this is your chance, this is your time, put in your points, say what you need to say, insist on what you need to insist on so that we can get it included."

Mark Mungal - Director, Caribbean Sports Development Agency
"We want this policy to be a policy that's alive and critically that moves from a paper document to implementation in the rider sports sector and it is a broad area that will facilitate that is an action plan. So, we're looking at a 3-year strategic plan that would obviously be guided by the sports policy and will be supported by the Sport Act."

Hon. Herman Longsworth
"When that is complete, the consultants are then tasked with complying all that they've heard, all that is credible into a document - a comprehensive document that should; like I've said, chart the way forward for us and they then, after having developed that policy need to outline a strategy, a way that we could implement the policy."

"But when Belize brings home 4 medals from the Central American Games and what we have some of them say, we've abandon City Center, a track - synthetic track that we can't use, some would say that we're past the consultation stage. How do you respond to such criticism?"

Hon. Herman Longsworth
"I say that - as far as I'm concerned, it's not legitimate, we are moving in the right direction and nothing will happen at the snap of anybody's fingers."

"How do you encourage the political leaders to move?"

Mark Mungal
"You're right; even with a good policy an Act and a beautiful strategic plan, those are still abstract things and to move to action to see more participation, to see higher performance levels, to see better facilities, rather, that takes many other factors including critically as you said; political will and resources."

And so how are the resources being managed at the Marion Jones Facility - which is still under construction and looks to be nowhere near completion? Longsworth says that there is a plan which may enable early use of the now languishing synthetic track:.

Hon. Herman Longsworth
"But the Prime Minister has committed some money to sectioning it off - if that is the best phrase to use - the compound in such a way that we can use it, we can open it to some of the facilities that are complete. For instance the track, we need to get the track up to a point and be able to manage the flow of the traffic goes in there, that it doesn't impact on the rest of the facilities so we can use the track. The grand stand facilities are going, we still expect to be complete and ready by the end of this year."

"Is it true that a consultant has been retained to oversee the constructions and husband the process through to completion?"

Hon. Herman Longsworth
"There is; as far as I know, an agreement form between the contractor and a management form to move the process on behalf of the contractor, yes."

"What is the cost of this, we understand that it is in the range of 50K per month."

Hon. Herman Longsworth
"That is not on my concern. That is an agreement between the contractor and a consulting firm. It does not impact on the cost of the project at all, comes out of the contractors funds, and so it's neither here or there for me, as long as we get the work done. It certainly will not cost Government of Belize any more money, if that is what you're asking."

Channel 7

#461750 - 04/05/13 08:57 AM Re: Belize's 1st National Sports Policy Plan [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A one day consultation between the Caribbean Sport Development Agency and the National Sports Council is underway in Belize City.  Chairman of the National Sports Council of Belize, Allan Sharp says that among many things the consultation is geared to discuss the way forward in the area of sports.


"The Sports Council, I believe is responsible for leading the way forward in sports and so we got Caribbean Sports development agencies in.  Today they are going to start the workshop in which we address the National Sports Act and secondary strategic plan.  Those are the main things for today but this is an ongoing process, whereby they will be meeting individually  with the different federations; they will be meeting with the different sports group possibly athletes, different organizations that work with children athletes and different groups."

Sharp told us about some of the challenges Belize faces in the area of sports, challenges that will be brought to the table during the consultation.


" Sports in general in Belize is behind some of our neighbors and even here in the Caribbean.  The great thing about having some consultant out of the Caribbean is that they understand the challenges they’ve been through this with other countries. From a Belize stand point we have challenges from facilities to administration, how to administer sports properly; how to get the culture of Belize putting more emphasis on sports.  I think overall we need to start sports from the children up which means we have to get into the education system to develop sports because sports has many benefits of which some of the main ones is first of all health. One of our major issue in Belize is health; our top three killers are health related in Belize not to mention helping with social issues like crime and so forth.  So, I think we’re at the right time in our country to start to put emphasis on sports."

The consultation is taking place at the Biltmore, and representatives from major sports areas are present.  This morning’s opening ceremony featured a speech by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Herman Longsworth.  The two Caribbean Consultants spearheading the event are Mark Mungal and Andre Collins.



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