Addressing the Senate, the Minister of Sport Ernest Peets, laid out a new five-year National Sports Policy.
Peets said, “Madam President, today, I lay the Government’s new National Sports Policy 2022-27, and invite all Members of the Senate to debate the Policy.
Madam President, I am pleased to say that the National Sports Policy for Bermuda fulfills the 2022 Throne Speech promise of a Policy and roadmap for this Government to raise the value of sport in Bermuda and increase participation and regional success over the next five years.
Madam President, on a global level, Bermuda punches above its weight in sport, and Bermudians are known for their love of the sport. Our potential is great and our aspirations are far-reaching. The Government has a bold vision for sport in Bermuda and we will achieve it through this Policy – Sport Matters.
Madam President, there are five primary goals of the policy, namely:
Achieve sporting excellence regionally;
Improve access to sports facilities;
Increase the value of sport; and
Establish a framework for talent development
Madam President, these goals are interrelated to ensure we address the key relationships between participation, sporting excellence, high performance and talent development, and facility access more broadly.
Madam President, the five Policy goals each have specific objectives and metrics to measure and track outcomes. The Policy aims to:
Improve public awareness of athletes, teams and Government’s commitment to sport
Increase free training access to NSC for athletes competing in international competitions
Increase the participation of children, women, persons with disabilities and persons from underrepresented groups
Establish a high-performance framework
Establish National Sports Governing Bodies long-term athlete development plans and
Strengthen coaching development
Madam President, by achieving these outcomes, the Government looks to solidify its commitment to Bermuda sport.
Madam President, we aim to make communities stronger through sport and physical activity, from grassroots right up to the pinnacle of elite competition. However, we cannot deliver this policy in isolation. Central to the achievement of the Policy goals will be our National Sports Governing Bodies, the Bermuda Olympic Association, the National Sports Centre, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, and other key partnerships. The combined use of the expertise, knowledge, and insight of this sporting fraternity will be essential for the successful implementation of the Policy.
Madam President, the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation will be responsible for the implementation of the Policy and will work collaboratively with the stakeholders and the wider community to champion the role sport can play in engaging Bermudians regardless of race, gender, physical and cognitive disability, and economic status.
Madam President, before closing I must stress that this is a five-year policy. Our aim is to strengthen our foundation so that in the longer term we can take Bermuda’s sporting achievements to even greater heights. But we must start with a solid bedrock first. I believe this Sports Policy achieves this and will set a springboard for future years to yield even further success.
Thank you, Madam President.
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