St Kitts and Nevis moves forward with National Sports Policy
St Kitts and Nevis has moved forward with the implementation of its National Sports Policy and Strategic Plan 2022-26 with the aim of boosting healthy lifestyles amongst its citizens.
The plan is also designed to expand the influence of sports across different sectors and enhance the development pathway for professional athletes.
Members of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Sport for the Development and Peace team, along with consultants Thuso Group, met recently with the country’s Minister with Responsibility for Sport and Culture (Creative Economy) Samal Mojah Duggins, the Permanent Secretary Valencia Syder and members of the National Sports Council (NSC) to support the policy’s implementation.
The plan also outlines the obligations of public and private-sector stakeholders to utilise sport as an effective tool for sustainable development, peace-building and improving health and wellbeing.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has been providing technical support for the implementation of the sports policy, which was due to launch in 2020, but was delayed due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ahead of the launch, Layne Robinson, Head of Social Policy Development, Economic, Youth and Sustainable Development Directorate at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “The Commonwealth believes that sport for development and peace, rightly utilised and supported, can contribute to improving health and education, creating employment, stimulating economic development, and realising human rights and gender equality.
“Our work in St Kitts and Nevis to strengthen the national sport policy and strategic plan should accelerate the benefits that can be realised from investing in sport.
“With the support of the government and stakeholders, we believe St Kitts and Nevis can become a model for other Commonwealth countries on how to effectively harness the power of sport for development and peace. We look forward to the next steps from our technical support.”
"Our work in St Kitts and Nevis to strengthen the national sport policy and strategic plan should accelerate the benefits that can be realised from investing in sport."
It is hoped that the plan will reduce the pressure on healthcare services and help to minimise the occurrence of preventable deaths.
The policy will also strengthen health and wellness provisions in schools, and also provide a successful revenue stream through sports tourism and recreation. It will further seek to maximise the opportunities for elite athletes from the Caribbean country, and build on the successes of Olympians such as Kim Collins and Jason Rogers.
The St Kitts and Nevis National Sport Council, the Department of Sport, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Sport and the Creative Economy, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, with expertise from Thuso Group, are now preparing to begin the rollout of the policy.
Dame Marcella Althea Liburd, Governor-General of St Kitts and Nevis, said: “It is very positive indeed to see such a range of stakeholders from throughout both Islands of St Kitts and Nevis brought together by the National Sports Council, at the behest of our government, and with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, to drive forward the implementation of the National Sport Policy, which has long-reaching implications for health, well-being, fitness, and achievement of the citizenry of our nation.”
Image: Commonwealth Secretariat