Permanent Secretary Stanley Knight
Permanent Secretary Stanley Knight

Ministry of Sports lays groundwork for federal sports policy

From SKNIS

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Ministry of Sports in St. Kitts is carrying out a catalogue of sport-related resources, including intellectual property, as it pushes ahead with plans to formulate a Federal Sports Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan.

The framework for the policy document will be based on three pillars that currently guide the activities and programmes of the Department of Sports: “Sport for All, Sport for Development and Sport for Excellence.”

The strategic path to achieving those goals in St. Kitts and in Nevis will be formally outlined in the policy that will provide structure to the efforts of public, private, community and not-for-profit agencies. The process of drafting and eventually establishing a policy has Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports Stanley Knight quite eager. “It is a huge, exciting prospect to have a sports policy,” he said.

The “Sport for All” pillar was highlighted to demonstrate how the implementation is likely to be carried out under the draft policy following public consultations and tabling in the federal parliament. “’Sport for All’ now means that we have a mandate to ensure the delivery of sports for [people] who are one-year-old and [people] who are 100-years-old,” Knight stated. “If we say we are providing sports for all, then it means we have to provide facilities for all. That includes [people] who are differently abled. So, as simple as it sounds to say sport for all, you need the policy to articulate the delivery on that particular overall goal.”

Director of the Department of Sports Anthony Wiltshire shared that the policy would “make life much easier,” as there will be clearly defined goals and objectives to work toward achieving. He explained that the current relationship with partners, national sport associations and similar institutions is good, but many of the practices are based on professional courtesy. “Presently we don’t have anything in writing to cover the relationship with the associations in terms of the use of the facilities [that] allows our employees – coaches and others – getting into the facilities [during competitions],” he said. “It [the policy] would be an instrument that will assist us in forging a better partnership with the associations as well as in the way in which we conduct ourselves internally.”

A participation grant has been submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeking its assistance in the drafting process for the policy. UNESCO played an integral role in the process to establish the first-ever Federal Youth Policy 2017-2022 for St. Kitts and Nevis.