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Caribbean Studies

Topic 4-Part 1:
Contribution of sports to Caribbean Development
Students should be able to identify and discuss the contributions of sport
towards regional development.

Leisure is freedom provided by the cessation of activities, especially time free from work
or duties. Sport has grown with the increase in leisure time in modern societies, due to the
automation of business, industry and home, paid mandatory vacations, early childhood
education centers, etc.

Definition of “Sport”
“An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team
competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Sport is all forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being
and social interaction.
- United Nations Inter-agency Taskforce on Sport for Development and Peace
Traditional Sports in the Caribbean:
- Track and Field (most represented sport globally)
- Soccer (football) – one of the most popular team sports in the Caribbean
- Cricket (oldest competitive sport in the English-speaking Caribbean)
- Boxing and weightlifting

Non-Traditional Sports in the Caribbean:

- Swimming
- Water-polo
- Golf
Baseball is hugely popular in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and
basketball and tennis are widely played, as well.
All types of water sports are popular as well, especially boating, fishing, diving, surfing,
and windsurfing. Other sports include horse racing and drag racing.

There is the world of competitive / professional sport publicized by the media for
entertainment, and sport offered in schools or engaged in for recreational purposes for
enjoyment, health and fitness and maintaining social relationships.
Sport and Development

DEVELOPMENT: involves increasing the choices of people and the chance for all to
achieve their full human potential and live fuller lives.
Human development as envisaged by the HDP (Human Development Paradigm)
includes improving the quality of life of people through equity, productivity,
empowerment and sustainability.

These four pillars of human development are possible through the avenue of sports:

• Sport promotes equity

Social mobility is possible through participation in professional sport, which
generates income and provides access to educational activities via scholarships.
Many sports people come from less privileged backgrounds, though emphasis is on
an elite few.
• Sport promotes productivity
Sport can generate income for individuals and for the economy through sports
• Sport promotes empowerment
Sport contributes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals
and communities. It gives people the ability to make their own choices, and
encourages discipline, team spirit and hard work. It encourages self-confidence and
• Sport promotes sustainability
Sport has proven to be a cost-effective and flexible tool in promoting peace and
development objectives through its promotion of tolerance and respect.
Investment in sport can also lead to an investment in a nation’s health, resulting in
reduction of expenditure on healthcare as citizens are healthy and fit.

The Caribbean region enjoys a wide base of sports. In many cases Sports are important to
the overall well being and development of the Caribbean. Sports contribute significantly
in the following ways:

! Generation of income
! Health and fitness
! Educational opportunities
! Sense of Caribbean identity
! Discipline and morale
! Presence on the world scene
! Sports tourism
Sports as a generator of Income / Income earner
The growth of professional sports has resulted in local and regional sporting activities
having the potential to directly and indirectly earn income for individuals and for
Sports has become a major economic activity in the region and is an avenue for
economic linkages as there is a need for players / teams, managers, coaches,
nutritionists, doctors, administrators, hotels, vendors, designers, etc.

The Ministry of Education has to employ persons to train students in all available
sporting disciplines. There is the need for coaches, administrators, trainers, managers,
physiotherapists, etc.

Sports are now ideal occupations for many Caribbean individuals. People are engaged
full time in football, athletics, cricket etc. and these are their careers. As such they are
productive members of the society that uses their skills as a way of benefiting
themselves and the people of their country.

Sports can generate income from sports-related sales and services. Industry in
sportswear and equipment fosters innovation and trade, and boosts foreign exchange
Sport-related industries that generate income include:
- Manufacturing of clothing for sport teams and supporters, footwear and sporting
equipment, etc
- Sports-related services like sports medicine, diets, gyms, merchandising, etc
Sport-related industries create jobs e.g. coaches, trainers, announcers, reporters,
managers, etc
- Marketing and Sponsorship (income generated for athletes and sponsors)
- Media – electronic media (televisions, radio…) and sports magazines.
The media houses are in competition to buy the rights to record and broadcast.
- Gambling (popular in the Caribbean) – generates tax revenue as well

In addition, staging sporting events, whether at local, national or international levels, can
enrich the social and cultural fabric of communities, making them more attractive
locations for investors and tourists.

Cricket games are played in venues like Bourda (Guyana), Queen’s Park Oval
(Trinidad and Tobago), Kensindton oval (Barbadoes), Sabina Park (Jamaica), etc.
This results in gate receipts and profits for the West Indian cricket Board (WICB).

The profitability of Sports is also dependant on its links with ICTs as the mass media
dominate how professional sporting activities are portrayed and, therefore, contribute to
their success.
Health and Fitness and Recreational Fulfillment
Participation in sports has a tremendous impact on a country’s citizens’ physical and
mental health. Physical, emotional and psychological fitness lead to awareness in a
healthy lifestyle, with renewed interest in exercise and diet. Improved health contributes
to development through healthier labour force, and reduces health costs to countries.

Recreation is an important contributor to the total well being of an individual. A person

occupied in a particular career needs compensatory recreational activities that serve as a
source of relaxation. This prepares the individual with renewed strength, will and vitality
to approach the next day’s work. As such sports as the best recreational activities
enhance the total well being of the people of the Caribbean.

Educational opportunities and advancement

Sports are one of the most important pathways for educational pursue and upward social
mobility. Individuals that have an active role in Sports are able to attain scholarships
from different colleges across the Caribbean and the world.
Sports scholarships exposes an athlete to training and professional expertise, as well as a
level of competition, that may not be found in a small Caribbean country.

Sports have provided young people with the ability to qualify for full and partial
scholarships to North American universities, through the Scholastic Aptitude Test
(SAT) scores and proof of ability in a sport.

Sports programmes designed for students and out of school youth can provide
alternatives and encourage young people to continue their education by remaining in
school. They may even learn marketable skills with a sports programme and refrain from
unhealthy practices. This may contribute to national development by reducing social
issues that hinder development.

Development of Caribbean Identity / Development and Fostering Caribbean Integration

Sports are one of the main means of bringing the people of the Caribbean to integrate. It
is evident that the all the Caribbean countries share the same sports. This similarity helps
them to relate to each other more and as such acts as a breaking force of the level of
insularity in Caribbean society. It increase competition among the people as also bring to
them recognition and identity in the International sporting world. One of the main sports
that suggest how integrated the Caribbean can be is Cricket. All of the Caribbean
countries contribute a player / players to the West Indian Cricket Team.

Caribbean athletes representing their individual countries in international competitions

has been a source of pride for all Caribbean people. The successful history of Jamaica in
track and field is a great accomplishment for the region.
Discipline and moral
Sports develop qualities in individuals such as team spirit, loyalty, dedication,
flexibility, humility and discipline. This leads to the development of good citizens.


Presence on the world scene

Sports is a means of promoting the Caribbean on the international scene, and is a source
of national or regional pride when successful. World recognition of a Caribbean athlete
enhances our presence on the world scene, especially for sporting events such as World
Netball Championship, Olympic games, Commonwealth games, Pan-American Games,
World Cup football, Special olympics, etc.
As a region, some of our most popular personalities and outstanding accomplishments
emanate from the field of sports e.g. Ato Boldon, Brian Lara, Dwight Yorke, etc.

Football, more than any other sport, has the potential to bring a Caribbean country into
the spotlight, showing the world that constraints of size, lack of resources and history of
oppression had been overcome in accomplishing success.

• Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the World Cup in Germany 2006.
• Brian Lara scored 400 not out in cricket. Sport Ambassador of T&T.
• Keshon Walcott won gold medal in Olympics.
• Russel Latapy gained 81 caps (games played) for the Trinidad and
Tobago national team, and appeared at the 2006 World Cup.
• Chris Gale is a Jamaican cricketer who plays international cricket for the
West Indies. Considered one of the most powerful batsmen in limited-overs
cricket, Gayle has set numerous records in all formats of the game.
• Steven Ames is a professional golfer on the PGA Tour holding dual
citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago and Canada.
Promotion and development of tourism (Sports Tourism)
Sports tourism refers to international trips specifically taken to participate or watch /
observe sporting events. Training camps are also contributors to Sports Tourism.

Common examples include international events such as world cups (soccer, rugby,
cricket, etc), the Olympics, regional events (such as the soccer European Champions
League), and individual (non-team) participant sports such as tennis, golf and horse

The most popular global sporting events are the soccer FIFA World Cup and the
Several Caribbean Countries organize very important sport events such as the Cricket
World Cup.
Increased media exposure of sporting events over the last decade has raised the profile of
many sports and has the ability to make national and international icons of sporting stars.
An increasing number of sports fans, therefore, want to experience live events.
Sporting events themselves are being made increasingly appealing to attend, with greater
levels of comfort, and other events – such as festivals - being created around them (such
as horse racing weekends, boating regattas, etc).
Overall, the sports tourism niche market is expected to grow annually. Sports tourism is
recognized globally as the fastest growing sector in the travel and tourism industry.
Hosting a sporting event boost infrastructure investment and furthered functional
cooperation across the region, boost the country's foreign-exchange inflow and generates
income for the airlines, hotels, sports facilities / stadiums, etc. Hotels, taxi drivers, tour
operators, tour guides, food vendors, shop owners and all the other members of the
tourism sector can and do enjoy the benefits of Sports Tourism.

Sport, therefore, is seen to have the most benefits in:

• Individual development

• Promotion of gender equality

• Improving health and social well-being
• Peace building and conflict prevention/resolution by transcending national
differences; and fostering universal values of fair play, mutual respect and
• Economic development
• Communication and social mobilisation.
• Encouraging discipline, teamwork, and a competitive spirit.
Sports Tourism in the Caribbean

Water Sports
The Caribbean's best natural sports resource is water. Miles of beaches for outdoor
volleyball, ocean reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving, and wharfs for boat docking
contribute to the water sports culture. Several nations in the Caribbean host annual
international regattas for yachts, sail boats and power boats, including the BVI Spring
Regatta and Festival in Tortola and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Fishing
tournaments such as the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament draw tourists
hoping to catch a big one. Regattas and fishing tournaments bring boaters, fishers and
observers to the island to enjoy the main events, as well as on-shore activities.

International Football (Soccer)

Thirty member associations make up the Caribbean Football Union. The Caribbean is
also part of the CONCACAF, the football governing body for North and Central
America and the Caribbean. A number of Caribbean countries have international
standard football stadiums, including the Queen's Park Oval and Hasely Crawford
Stadium. Teams compete on the World Cup stage, in addition to having hosted the
Men's U17 and Women's U17 World Cup tournaments in the past. Teams in Jamaica
and Trinidad and Tobago, in particular, enjoy a large tourist fan base, thanks to their
World Cup qualifying runs and Caribbean Cup success.

Track and Field

Jamaica is the most successful country per capita in the world in track and field, and
the Caribbean as a whole consistently produces some of the world's finest track and
field athletes, such as Merlene Ottey and Usain Bolt. The islands are home to many
world-class track and field facilities. Countries rotate hosting duties for the Carifta
Games, one of the most important in international competition, while Jamaica has
hosted the IAAF World Championships. Several smaller championships have been
hosted by Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Granada, and Barbados.

Cricket was brought to the Caribbean by the English and has enjoyed a measure of
popularity since. While the dominance of the sport appears to be waning in favor of
international football, the islands are home to several world-class stadiums and active
national teams. Both in-season games and off-season friendly matches are hosted in
the Caribbean. In 2007, the West Indies hosted the Cricket World Cup, bringing 16
teams and more than half a million game attendees to the islands.

Factors hindering the contribution of Sport in development

Two main areas that present the limitations to the potential of sport to contribute to
development are:

• Underdevelopment of sport and ‘muscle drain’ in developing countries

• Developing sports tourism by means of hosting local sports events, producing
low-cost and affordable sporting goods and through athletes’ remittances

Underdevelopment of sport in developing countries

Sport development is usually not a top priority in the national budget or in the education
system of most developing countries. Many Caribbean countries have skilled and talented
sportsmen and women but do not have the facilities to help them to compete at the
international level e.g. athletics and swimming. When reviewing the criteria for funding,
sport is not seen as a high priority on the national agenda in relation to other urgent
programmes like housing, infrastructure, employment, etc.

! Generation of income
Low investment in sport decreases the potential for athletes to build their talent and
means that there are fewer prospects for athletes to continue their sport training or
pursue professional sport careers. In turn, the lack of talent-building opportunities
leads to less return on the little investment put into local talent, further debilitating
local sport development structures and sport career pathways.

Less developed countries are unable to utilise the talent of their strong performers
and/or tend to lose them to more powerful nations in global sport. ‘Muscle drain’ has
been deemed comparable to ‘brain drain’ as athletes from developing countries
supply the industrialised countries’ markets with talent. In football, for example, the
high transfer rates that European players can demand from clubs have created a much
cheaper alternative – importing players from developing countries.

! Educational opportunities
There are very few scholarships and other educational opportunitiies within and
outside the region for athletes, so only a select few are granted the opportunity to train
in foreign universities and excel on a global stage. Those becoming available in the
region are very few and will take time before they become widespread.
The curricular for most primary and secondary schools place emphasis on academic
programmes more than sports programmes. The ideological framework guiding the
thinking of what is important in education continues to undervalue sport.
! Sense of Caribbean identity
Few sportsmen and women gain international recognition that translates into benefits
for their region and diaspora (a large group of people with a similar heritage or
homeland who have since moved out to places all over the world). Most of the
internationally recognized sportsmen and women may and do end up representing
other nations in the World games or Olympics, and take on their national identities.

Merlene Ottey is a Jamaican-born Slovene track and field sprinter who began her
career representing Jamaica but since 2002 has represented Slovenia, where she now
resides. Her world indoor record for 200 metres, set in 1993, still stands (as of 2016).

Donovan Bailey is a Canadian retired sprinter, who once held the world record for the
100 metres race following his gold medal performance in the 1996 Olympic Games.

Dustin Brown is a Jamaican-German professional tennis player.

Some sports have their own sources of funding but do not assist in the broader agenda
of developing the national interest. Polo, yatchting and golf, while attracting
international attention, are still limited to the elite classes and have limited impact on
national economies.
West Indies cricket led to the international recognition of the region and its individual
players. The inconsistency in the performance of the teams has, however, led to
reduced opportunities for investment in individual players and / or in facilities for
improvement. In addition, though it is argued that sports facilitate regional identity,
the West Indies Cricket team does not include some Caribbean territories like Belize,
Bermuda and the Bahamas.

! Presence on the world map

Sport in the Caribbean is now seen as competitive sports and as a means of promoting
the Caribbean on the world seen. There are challenges to be overcome in achieving
this like the constraints of small size, few resources and a history tainted by bondage
and oppression.

Technology and Mass media

With technology and the mass media, persons can watch sporting events from at
home. This threatens the persons who depend on the events for income e.g. vendors,
retailers of merchandise, transportation providers and other support services like
maintenance of facilities.
Sports have long been promoted as having character-building potential for individuals
depending on how they approach and play the sport. Sport as a means of contributing
to the moral development of Caribbean persons is also being affected by the increased
importance of the foreign media in influencing how sport is portrayed. The emphasis
on winning and the commercialization of sport largely through the mass media has
jeopardized the character-building benefit.
! Sports tourism
Developing local markets through sport
Local sports events show that they have the capacity to attract large numbers of
people, initially from the local and surrounding areas where sports events take place
and progressively, from further away. Local industries and a local sports sector may
emerge as sports-related services are provided, creating jobs and opportunities to
upgrade skills and produce further services and products. However, if local economic
opportunities are to be made through sports tourism, local responses to building local
economic development have proven to be most effective in creating lasting and
sustainable opportunities for local people.

Sport development is usually not a top priority in the national budget or in the
education system of most developing countries. When territories do invest large sums
of money into sporting events, they do so at the risk of other programmes for
development, including urgent programmes like housing, infrastructure, employment,

When the region hosts international sporting events, more money is invested in the
event than can be recovered. World cup cricket and the building of cricket grounds /
stadium were very expensive and have limited use to recover money spent.

Beckles: Caribbean capable of rising to challenges

• Published on Jun 16, 2015 Trinidad Express

Sir Hilary Beckles said the Caribbean sporting bodies and Caribbean societies are
capable of creating solutions to their own challenges. Beckles, a professor at the
University of the West Indies and a West Indies commentator and historian, was
speaking at the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (CSDA)-hosted Trinidad and
Tobago International Sport Conference (TTISC) 2015 event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel,
Port of Spain, yesterday.

During the 90-minute panel discussion on “Integrity & governance: A platform for
developing a sustainable model for sport” at the Port of Spain Ballroom, Beckles
commented on the Caribbean’s ability to resolve it peculiar problems.
Beckles cited the example of top world sprinter Usain Bolt and his development from his
base in Jamaica. He said Bolt and his coach Dr Glemn Mills combined with scientists at
the Mona Campus of the UWI to improve his effectiveness and technique to become an
indomitable world beater.

“They found a way to sort (Bolt’s technique) out and find a solution through Caribbean
research and innovation. Once they have found those solutions they then applied it and
whoosh! In other words it was a classic case of a society finding an indigenous solutions
to its problems and that’s the story we have to tell,” Beckles said…
Caribbean Studies

Topic 4-Part 2:
Contribution of sports to Caribbean Development
Students should be able to identify the shortcomings of sporting bodies in the Caribbean

© 2011 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. All Rights Reserved.
Sport has always been an important part of Community life and development, particularly among
the Region’s youth. In 2000, a human resource development sub-committee on sport established
by the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) to advise on and review the
development of sport programmes in the Region, as well as to identify research needs and
promote communication and coordination among stakeholders. This sub-committee has been
instrumental in developing policy guidelines for physical education in schools; drugs in sport
including drug testing; and establishing a regional mechanism to strengthen the role and impact
of sports at all levels.
Most of the major sporting disciplines in the Community (such as cricket, football, netball and
basketball) are governed by regional associations and a number of them also stage regional
championships. However, the rules of some international sporting organizations preclude regional
teams from competing internationally. The major exception is international cricket.
Some sporting competitions among Caribbean countries are:

Athletics CARIFTA Games (Youth Track and Field and Swimming)

Badminton Caribbean Badminton Championships (CAREBACO)
Basketball CARICOM Basketball Championships (male and female)
Body Building Caribbean Body Building Championships (male, female and youth)
Boxing CARICOM Amateur Boxing Championships
Cricket Busta Cup (seniors), Trinidad Cement Ltd. Trophy (youth),
Caribbean Women’s Championship
Football Shell Caribbean Cup
Golf Hoerman Cup, Francis Steele-Perkins Trophy and
George Teale Cup (male, seniors and female)
Lawn Tennis Caribbean Junior Lawn Tennis Circuit
Netball Caribbean Netball Championships
Rifle Shooting Caribbean Rifle Shooting Championships
Rugby Caribbean Rugby Championships
Squash Caribbean Squash Championships
Table Tennis Caribbean Table Tennis Championships
Volleyball Caribbean Volleyball Championships (male and female)


Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (CSDA)

CSDA is recognized as the leading Sport for Development Agency in the Caribbean region and
was established to develop the people and communities of the Caribbean through sports and
physical activity.

Established: Function: Challenges:

• Collaboration with government and Challenges and

Formerly known as
community based organizations in experiences from both
the Trinidad and twelve (12) CARICOM member research and practice in an
Tobago Alliance for states supporting inclusive: effort to challenge the
Sport and Physical • Health and physical education status quo that often
Education. programs; defines traditional practice
• Youth and community sport in sport and sport for
Location: Trinidad development interventions and the development.
enhancement of institutions and
organizations involved in the delivery
of sport and physical education.
• CSDA is also committed to
advancing Sport for Development
knowledge and practice through

Caribbean Football Union (CFU)

The CFU is the official governing body of Caribbean football Associations and
Federations. Responsible for the promotion and development of football within the

Established: 1978 Function: Challenges:

• Management and administration Corruption / Scandal

of all regional and international
Struggle for CONCACAF
Trinidad and Tobago
football activities involving control
The CFU is Caribbean countries and teams.
comprised of 31 To make the CFU a
• Operates under the WORLD relevant football entity
Member governing body FIFA.
Associations, in CONCACAF and FIFA
representing sporting • Runs the CFU Club and Regional and to be more
and administrative Championships competitive, to have
talent in the English, CFU administers the CFU Club more teams qualifying to
Dutch, French and Championship, a competition to CONCACAF finals, and to
Spanish-speaking build to become a strong
determine the Caribbean club
Caribbean. football region that can
representative for the
be respected globally.
CONCACAF Champions League.

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)

The WICB is the governing body for cricket in the Caribbean.

Established in Function: Challenges:

1920s as the West The functions of the WICB are:
Indies Cricket Board High turnover of regional
of Control but • Manages and operates the affairs players introduced to
changed officially to of the WI cricket team and the international cricket in the
its present name in West Indies A Team. past decade.

1996. • Arranges and organizes Test tours Advances in technology
Since 1926, it has and one day international matches that alter how the game is
been a full member played and how one
of the International • Organizes Regional competitions
develops strategies for
Cricket Council, the • Selects players representing WI winning regularly.
governing body of team
world cricket. The educational levels of
• Develop regional Cricket our cricketers.
Location: The WICB consists of 6 territorial The lure of instant
Antigua, Associations providing two directors gratification and easy
West Indies. each. money.

Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC)

Regional sports organization established to organize the Central American and Caribbean

Established: Function: the planning and Challenges:

The concept for a implementation of programmes
Caribbean Olympic utilizing international and regional
Caucus was first resources available through the
touted in January governments of Canada, Australia
1998 in Melbourne. and through Olympic Solidarity; a
sub unit of the International
First meeting was Olympic Committee (IOC).
held in Barbados in This entity (Caucus) would represent
February, 1999. the interests of all regional National
Olympic Committees (NOCs),
Location: Commonwealth Games Federations
Port of Spain, (CGFs) and other key stakeholders
Trinidad & Tobago and would be committed to the
and managed by the preservation of their autonomy,
Trinidad & Tobago working in conjunction with
Olympic Committee governments to achieve regional
(TTOC). goals.