BERMUDA NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY

 

Ministerial Statement

To The House of Assembly

 

By

 

Hon. R. Wayne Scott, J.P., M.P.

Minister of Community, Culture and Sports

 

  Friday, 18th July 2014

 

MR. SPEAKER, YOU MAY RECALL THAT PROGRESS ON A NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY IS ONE OF THE INITATIVES ASSIGNED TO THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY, CULTURE AND SPORTS IN THE NOVEMBER 2013 SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.

 

MR. SPEAKER, IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT I RISE THIS MORNING TO ANNOUNCE TO MEMBERS OF THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE AND TO THE PEOPLE OF BERMUDA THAT TODAY I AM RELEASING BERMUDA’S NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY – SPORTING SUCCESS: OUR VISION AND BEYOND

 

MR. SPEAKER, IN THE INTERESTS OF SAVING MONEY (AND A FEW TREES TOO) THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE AS A PDF FILE RATHER THAN AS A HARD COPY.  ELECTRONIC COPIES OF THE POLICY WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING ON THE BERMUDA GOVERNMENT WEBSITE, THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY, CULTURE AND SPORTS WEBSITE, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORTS AND RECREATION WEBSITE.  HARD COPIES OF THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR REFERENCE ONLY AT THE BERMUDA NATIONAL LIBRARY BY THE END OF NEXT WEEK.

 

MR. SPEAKER, IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO GIVE A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF HOW OUR NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY HAS BEEN DEVELOPED. 

 

MR. SPEAKER, IN FEBRUARY 1980, THE THEN MINISTER OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS INTRODUCED A GREEN PAPER ON SPORT ENTITLED “SPORT FOR ALL”, WHICH WAS DISTRIBUTED TO SPORTS BODIES AND MADE ACCESSIBLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN AUGUST 1980.  THE IDEA BEHIND THIS WAS TO GENERATE DISCUSSION WITH A VIEW TOWARDS IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM AREAS IN SPORT AND RECREATION, DEFINING OPTIONS FOR SOLUTIONS, AND PROMOTING THE INTEREST AND INVOLVEMENT OF CONCERNED CITIZENS LEADING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SPORTS POLICY TO ADVANCE SPORT ACROSS ALL SECTORS OF BERMUDA.

 

MR. SPEAKER, THE GREEN PAPER ALONG WITH THE RESPONSES FROM SPORTS BODIES AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC LEAD TO THE FORMATION OF A DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AND SPORTS WHITE PAPER – “SPORT AND RECREATION: A POLICY PAPER” THAT WAS RELEASED AND PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT IN MARCH 1981.  THE GREEN PAPER SETS OUT THREE GUIDING PRINCIPLES THAT DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORT AND RECREATION HAS FOLLOWED IN PREPARING THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY.  THESE PRINCIPLES EMBRACE THE NEED:

  1. TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL THOSE WHO WISH TO TAKE PART IN SPORT AND RECREATION;
  2. TO ENSURE THAT POLICIES FOR THESE ACTIVITIES ARE COORDINATED SO AS TO PROVIDE THE FACILITIES AND PROGRAMMES FOR MAXIMUM PARTICIPATION; AND
  3. TO ASSIST OUR ATHLETES TO REACH THEIR FULL LIMIT OF THEIR RESPECTIVE ABILITIES.

 

MR. SPEAKER, OVER THE YEARS THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORT AND RECREATION HAS HELD NUMEROUS CONSULTATIONS WITH VARIOUS INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS REGARDING A NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY.  MORE RECENTLY, ON 7TH NOVEMBER 2013 THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORT AND RECREATION HELD A SUCCESSFUL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH NATIONAL SPORTS GOVERNING BODIES (NSGBs) AROUND A NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY FRAMEWORK.  RESPONSES GATHERED AT THE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WERE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION AND USED TO FURTHER GUIDE DEVELOPMENT OF THE POLICY.

 

MR. SPEAKER, A DRAFT VERSION OF THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY WAS DISTRIBUTED TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS PRESENT AT THE ANNUAL NATIONAL SPORTS CONFERENCE HELD AT FAIRMONT HAMILTON PRINCESS HOTEL ON SATURDAY, 15TH FEBRUARY 2014. THIS PROVIDED A FURTHER OPPORTUNITY FOR NSGBS TO REVIEW THE DRAFT SPORTS POLICY AND SUBMIT FEEDBACK AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORT AND RECREATION TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION.

 

MR. SPEAKER, THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY IS INTENDED TO ESTABLISH A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPORT AND RECREATION IN BERMUDA. IT IS INTENDED THAT THE POLICY BE USED TO FORMULATE AN ACTION PLAN COVERING IDENTIFIED SHORT, MEDIUM AND LONG TERM GOALS. BY CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING A NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR SPORT AND RECREATION BASED ON THE POLICY, GOVERNMENT WILL SEEK TO ACHIEVE SEVERAL IMPORTANT OBJECTIVES FOR SPORT OVER THE NEXT SIX YEARS (TAKING US TO 2020) AND BEYOND.

 

MR. SPEAKER, THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY SEEKS TO ENGAGE SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS TO WORK IN PARTNERSHIP TOWARD THE GOAL OF SPORTING SUCCESS IN ALL AREAS SUCH AS: EXPANDING ON COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION; HEALTH AND WELLBEING; EARLY RECOGNITION AND DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTING TALENT; TRAINING AND RESPECT FOR COACHES, VOLUNTEERS AND ADMINISTRATORS; AND ENHANCING BERMUDA’S REPUTATION BOTH AS A SPORTING NATION AND FOR HOSTING WORLD CLASS INTERNATIONAL EVENTS.

 

MR. SPEAKER, THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY SETS OUT GOVERNMENT’S VISION FOR SPORT AND RECREATION FOR ALL REGARDLESS OF AGE, SEX, DISABILITY, RACE, RELIGION, SOCIAL BACKGROUND AND/OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION. THE POLICY ENVISAGES “A BERMUDA WHERE SPORT AND RECREATION IGNITES THE PASSION OF OUR PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE, TO EXPRESS PRIDE AND TO ATTRACT TOURISTS TO OUR SHORES; WHERE OUR ATHLETES PERFORM HONOURABLY, CONSISTENTLY AND SUCCESSFULLY TO THE EXTENT OF THEIR ABILITIES AND INTEREST AND AT THE HIGHEST COMPETITIVE LEVELS IN A DYNAMIC, STRUCTURED, TECHNOLOGY INFUSED SPORTING ENVIRONMENT.” 

 

MR. SPEAKER, TO ACHIEVE THIS VISION THE POLICY IDENTIFIES TWO NATIONAL OUTCOMES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED: INCREASED PARTICIPATION AND IMPROVED PERFORMANCE.  IN ORDER TO EXPAND AND SUSTAIN BERMUDA’S SPORTING INFRASTRUCTURE FOUR NATIONAL PRIORITIES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED: (1) OUR PEOPLE; (2) OUR ORGANIZATIONS; (3) OUR FACILITIES; AND (4) OUR ATHLETES.   

 

MR. SPEAKER, THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE OVERALL DIRECTION AND GUIDANCE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORT AND RECREATION; OTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS (SUCH AS DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND PLANNING); AND NATIONAL SPORT GOVERNING BODIES AND OTHER EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS CONCERNED WITH THE AREAS OF PROMOTION, ADVANCEMENT AND PARTICIPATION IN SPORT AND RECREATION IN BERMUDA.

 

MR. SPEAKER, IN ORDER FOR THE VISION AND OUTCOMES TO BE FULFILLED, ALL RESIDENTS OF BERMUDA MUST EMBRACE THE POLICY AND SEE THEMSELVES AS PLAYING A ROLE IN IMPLEMENTING THE ACTION PLAN THAT IS BEING DEVELOPED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORT AND RECREATION.

 

MR. SPEAKER, I WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS MY SINCERE GRATITUDE TO THE STAFF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, SPORTS AND RECREATION FOR SPEARHEADING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY, AND TO THE STAFF IN MY MINISTRY HEADQUARTERS FOR PROVIDING VALUABLE ASSISTANCE WHICH ENABLED US TO “CROSS THE FINISH LINE” AND PUBLISH THE POLICY.

 

MR. SPEAKER, SPORT IS INEXTRICABLY LINKED TO CULTURE. HERE IN BERMUDA WE FRAME MUCH OF OUR SOCIAL ACTIVITY AROUND SPORTS AND RECREATION. THIS DEFINES US AS A PEOPLE. I CAN SPEAK WITH FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HOW PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.  IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT I AM VERY PLEASED TO PRESENT BERMUDA’S NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY – SPORTING SUCCESS: OUR VISION AND BEYOND

 

THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER.