Former NBA star calls for greater emphasis on sports
August 9, 2013

Former NBA star calls for greater emphasis on sports

Fri Aug 9, 2013

by Robertson Henry

Adonal Foyle is one of the very few Caribbean athletes to make the transition from grassroots sports in his or her homeland to the professional leagues.{{more}}

The former NBA star is of the opinion that greater emphasis needs to be placed on developing the sports product of the region, inclusive of facilities and support structures, if the Caribbean people are to move past the Bolt phenomenon, and truly enjoy the numerous socio-economic benefits that can be derived from sports.

According to Foyle, it is imperative that the Caribbean look at sports as a pillar in the region’s socio-economic development.

He pointed out “Let’s just look at the location. Everybody wants to come to the Caribbean for a reason. Just imagine if we had the facilities where they can come and have a training camp. Or they’re having a summer camp where the athletes can train, while their families enjoy the sights.”

He pointed that there are untold benefits to be enjoyed, but from a tourism perspective, it is being underutilized. Athletes from the Caribbean continue to get access to the higher levels of sports in the world, “but what is important for us to understand is that there is a place here for sports, and to further develop sports throughout the region.”

The Governments of the four Windward Islands are faced with the issues of limited land space, the demands of a growing population and an uncertain world economy.

When a young athlete from the Caribbean goes to the USA to attend college, whether they get into professional sports at the end of their college days is inconsequential. The islands are getting an educated person, by virtue of having gotten an education through sports, Foyle said.

“It is imperative that we continue to develop the next generation, and that they can get opportunities through sports,” Foyle stated last Saturday morning. “We owe it to them, for sports gave them an education.”

There are hundreds of Caribbean athletes attending various colleges and universities in the USA and other countries. That is quantifiable stuff and the Governments of the region should do all in their power to assist those young people, for that is an educated labour force, which can help push the various countries forward, Foyle said. (