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Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo
||Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Sports is
also the Minister of Family, Youth Affairs and the Environment,
said the Government was committed to developing sport as a major
by EZRA STUART Compliments of the Barbados
SPORTING CLUBS and organisations will soon be benefiting
from a pledge of the new Government to waive duties and VAT on training
and sports equipment.
Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo revealed this yesterday in
her first public address since being sworn in as the new Minister
Delivering the feature address at a luncheon and
pageant hosted by the Rising Stars athletics club at the Lester
Vaughan School in St Thomas, Byer-Suckoo said it was a concern shared
by the athletes at Rising Stars.
"It is very expensive for many of our athletes
to be able to get the quality of equipment and the quality of gear
that they need to be able to prepare them for the world stage.
"And many athletes have had to come a-begging
to be able to afford just shoes and equipment to get them to be
able to compete. So we will waive the VAT and duties very shortly
on this training equipment and the gear that is needed for them
Byer-Suckoo said this pledge was contained in the
Democratic Labour Party's (DLP) manifesto, adding that far too often
when Barbadian athletes travelled overseas, they did not seem to
be up to par with what other competitors had.
"Our athletes travel by themselves, they travel
with just one little bag. They don't have the right equipment and
many of our athletes cannot afford the supplements that they need
to be able to get them physically fit and able to prepare and compete
with people on the world stage, and so we are going to make that
a lot more affordable for them," she said.
The Minister of Sport also said the DLP administration,
led by Prime Minister David Thompson, intended to waive the duties
on transport facilities for sporting organisations.
"We want to make available financial grants
to successful sporting organisations . . . . There is the plan to
offer tax deduction for businesses which sponsor sports, and that
should be an incentive for them to be able to put more into communities
and organisations such as this one."
Byer-Suckoo, who is also Minister of Family, Youth
Affairs and the Environment, said the Government was committed to
developing sport as a major socio-economic sector.
"We see there is a lot of potential now in
sports. We are committed to developing world-class athletes and
seeing sports develop," she said.
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