Published 9 February 2023
Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News Source
Press Release – National Sport Council
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Sport, and the Creative Economy has committed to implementing an innovative, cross-sector, National Sport Policy with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Date: Friday 9th February
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Sport and the Creative Economy, with technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat, who have appointed the international consultancy, Thuso Group, support the implementation of the St Kitts and Nevis National Sport Policy (NSP) and Strategic Plan (SP), as developed in 2020, with its launch delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hon. Samal Mojah Duggins, Minister with Responsibility for Sport and Culture (Creative Economy), met with the National Sport Council, Sporting Federations, other Ministry members and key individuals, to participate in collaborative workshops focused on the development of key tools and resources to facilitate the National Sport Plan’s implementation.
At the behest of the government, the National Sport Council, Chaired by Mr. Glenn Quinlan, was formed to convene stakeholders and coordinate the implementation of the National Sport Policy, which seeks to provide an overarching framework with appropriate parameters for the oversight and successful implementation of all aspects of the coordination and development of top-quality, health-promoting, and accessible sport, physical education, physical activity, and recreation in St Kitts and Nevis’ (NSP).
As such, it has profound implications for the health of the citizens of St Kitts and Nevis, in a
context in which the Chief Medical Officer reports that 80% of morbidity and mortality in the
islands result from non-communicable ‘lifestyle’-related diseases, such as heart disease,
hypertension, and diabetes – a more active community has the potential to significantly
reduce pressure on healthcare services and minimise the occurrence of preventable deaths.
Likewise, the policy aligns with recent initiatives to strengthen health and wellness provision
in schools throughout the country, as well as leveraging opportunities for revenue generation
through sports tourism and recreation.
The policy also seeks to maximise the opportunities for elite athletes from St Kitts and Nevis, building on the successes of Olympians such as Kim Collins, Jason Rogers, Amya Clarke, Antoine Adams, Lestrod Rowland, Diane Dunrod, Tameka Williams, and Brijesh Lawrence, ensuring future generations of sportsmen and women can excel on the world stage.
The National Sport Council and the Department of Sport, with the support of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, Small Business and
Entrepreneurship, Sport and the Creative Economy, as well as the Commonwealth
Secretariat, drawing on the technical expertise of Thuso Group, are now prepared to begin
the roll-out of the policy, with clear targets in place for the next 5 years.
The Hon. Minister Samal Mojah Duggins expressed his view that ‘[s]port is critical for holistic country development. It is one of the binding elements that connects all sectors of government’, made reference to widespread morbidity arising from non-communicable diseases, such as ‘stroke, heart attack, and heart failure’, and stated his view that this ‘is indicative of an urgent need for personal and social intervention’. He went on to comment:
‘I want to highlight my Ministry’s accomplishments so far in terms of the full implementation of the National Sport Policy. These include developing a clear policy, and adopting a theory of change – a clear roadmap has been created, a results-oriented framework is in place, and tools have been made available to implement the National Sport Policy.
Cross sectoral support is critical as it relates to our young people’s future. While I can assure you of my Ministry’s continued support for the full implementation of the Policy and Strategic Plan, we must garner the support of other line Ministries and stakeholders. Join with us to ensure success.
I believe in transformative change, so empower the National Sport Council to convene and coordinate this important work.’
H.E. Dame Marcella Althea Liburd, GCMG, JP, Governor-General of St Kitts and Nevis, stated:
‘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.’
Mr. Layne Robinson, Head of Social Policy Development (SPD), Economic, Youth & Sustainable Development Directorate (EYSD), Commonwealth Secretariat, commented:
‘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.’
Dr Lin Sambili-Gicheha, Project Manager, Sport for Development and Peace Team, Commonwealth Secretariat, who has been working in-country with the wider team, highlighted:
As the Commonwealth Secretariat Officer on the ground for this mission in St Kitts and Nevis, it has been a privilege to witness the commitment of the local stakeholders in the implementation of the Policy, identifying sport as one of the most recognisable elements of the Commonwealth; it represents an important thread in the rich tapestry of our traditions. Sport is a key feature in the 2023 Commonwealth Year of Youth activities and the forthcoming the Commonwealth NCD Strategy. Moreover, I have been particularly pleased to be able to introduce key stakeholders to The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), a free capacity-building resource on Sport for Sustainable Development designed by the
Commonwealth Secretariat, The International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The MOOC is available to all government and sport sector wide officials here.’
Chairman of the National Sport Council, Mr. Glenn Quinlan commented on the progress
‘The experience, knowledge, and guidance of the Thuso team and the Commonwealth Secretariat has been what I hoped it would be. It was clear to me, at the beginning, when I was introduced to the National Sport Policy and the accompanying strategic plan, that we needed expert help. We’ve been provided with the tools to move the project forward and I’m convinced that we will get the job done.’
Mr. Matthew Robert Goldie-Scot, Managing Director of the Thuso Group, noted:
‘We are delighted that Thuso was engaged by the Commonwealth Secretariat to support this important work – it has been a privilege to work with the dedicated team within the National Sport Council, with Glenn Quinlan, Jennifer Nero, and Shawn Seabrookes, demonstrating exceptional commitment to maintaining momentum with the implementation of the National Sport Plan. This builds on Thuso’s wider work with the Commonwealth Secretariat, as well as its portfolio in the Caribbean, including its recent engagements with UNDP, the UWI, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, CARICOM, and the wider region. Likewise, we are very grateful for the hard work of
colleagues in the Departments of Sport, Health, and Education, as well as other line Ministries, the commitment of the Hon. Minister Duggins, and Permanent Secretary Valencia Syder, and the ongoing support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, particularly Mr Layne Robinson, Head of Social Policy Development (SPD), Caroline Brooks Sports and SDGs Project Manager, Dr Lin Sambili- Gicheha, Project Manager, Sports for Development and Peace (SDP), who was able to participate in our work in-country. We are confident that this policy has the potential to impact significantly on St Kitts and Nevis, and its people’.