St. Kitts And Nevis Government Harnesses Promotion And Developmental Benefits From Sports

187
Some of the athletes and officials currently in Rio for the 2016 Summer Games. Photo taken from St. Kitts and Nevis Amateur Athletic Association.

Press Release

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 11, 2016 (SKNIS): The world will be watching athletes from St. Kitts and Nevis compete in track and field at the Summer Olympics Games over the weekend, which follow on the heels of the global exposure received by the twin-island federation during the semifinals and final of the Caribbean Premier League (CPLT20) Twenty20 cricket tournament last week (August 03-07).

It’s all part of a strategy by the Government to generate added publicity for the islands and its people.

“I think sport has a critical role to play in the development of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports, Honourable Shawn Richards, on this week’s edition of ‘Working for You.’ “We must recognize that our [only] real resource … is our human capital and we have to make the necessary investments in our people so that they can develop themselves and if they are able to develop themselves then the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will develop.”

The deputy prime minister referred to the international attention that St. Kitts and Nevis received after national sprint icon Kim Collins captivated the world in the early years of 2000, winning a bronze medal in the 200 meters at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, gold in the 100 meters at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and gold in the 100 meters at the 2003 World Championships in Paris. Since then Collins, who the national athletic stadium is named after, continues to rack up impressive wins all over the world and still makes headlines even at the age of 40.

“Kim has placed St. Kitts and Nevis on the world map and if we continue to harness the skills within other athletes, I am certain that just as Kim would have emerged, there are other athletes who would also emerge,” Minister Richards said, adding that this would also lead to positive attention for the country.

He pledged that the Government will continue to invest in improving the sporting infrastructure, especially as it has implications to produce a healthier population as the general public often uses sports facilities to exercise.