PHILIPSBURG:--- The Department of Sports would like to give an update regarding the various developments within sports and assistance given to organizations and athletes.
We would like to highlight that over the past 6 months we have assisted many different organizations and athletes in the execution of their sports events and their participation in sporting events. We have utilized our platform to bring awareness to the many achievements of the athletes within the different sports. Over ANG. 78k has also been issued to various organizations and athletes with interests in the further development of their individual sports.
Funds were issued to the National Boxing Federation which recently participated in the International Continental Championships in Ecuador. Support was given to Ms. Profas of the St. Maarten Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation who also recently participated in the IFBB Caribbean Grand Prix in Bermuda where she placed 1st and won the women's Physique in the open class. The National Athletics team of the Dynamics Sporting Club, Carlos Brison & Chanel Richardson represented St. Maarten in the Carifta Games in Jamaica. Funding was also approved for Cycling (Ms. Nicole Erato) to participate in a training camp and in the Pan American Cycling championship in San Juan Argentina; and Aquatics where the Carib Swim team members Ms. Tatiana Illis & Arianna Lont participated in the 2022 FINA World championship in Budapest.
From a structural perspective, funds were made available to coaches in the sports of Netball, Athletics, Football, and Basketball for the school/after-school programming; the therapeutic swim program for the elderly; the school swimming program (where 130 children received their swimming diploma A); the social football program at the Cruijff Court; and Little League for the upkeep of their facility. These funds were made available in addition to the funds mentioned above for incidental subsidies.
The Department of Sport also supported in collaboration with the Tourism Bureau, the St.Maarten /St. Martin Babe Ruth Baseball / Softball Association who is expected to travel to the Bahamas to compete in Babe Ruth Baseball Caribbean Championships on July 7-11, 2022. This event will showcase talent from the entire Caribbean region along with international teams.
On another note
The Departments of Sport and Culture will be partnering with Nagico to bring to the general public The Health Sport & Culture Expo. This event will be held on August 27th, 2022 starting from 7:00 am at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex and will give the Health, Sports, and Cultural organizations the opportunity to bring to the forefront what they have to offer to the general public. More information will be forthcoming once we get closer to the date. Preparation for the Brown Pelican Sports Awards has also started and we are aiming to have it in person on Sunday, November 13, 2022, after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. This year, we will be highlighting legends in Basketball, and we will continue with our appreciation for the various contributors to the sport.
The Department sees the importance of investing in sports on the island and we will continue to do so. The National Sports Institute through the subsidy received, recently completed some upgrading and repair works at the different sports facilities. These include but are not limited to the John Cooper/Jose Lake ballpark which received an outfield fence, the construction of a concrete casing for the waste bin, and the construction/installation of the Nagico donated scoreboard’s steel brackets & support. At the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, the swimming pool recently received pump parts replacement & repair. The Melford Hazel Sports Complex received some plumbing repairs to the toilets, pipes, and faucets. At the Belvedere Sports Park, the basketball court wall was painted during the SXM doet event by participants who were from the Fire department, Sports department, individual volunteers, and NSI staff. A Rolling gate was also placed at the entrance of the basketball court, to ensure easy access for repairs of the court and safety for the users.
Once again we would like to congratulate all of the various organizations in their attempts to ensure that sport continues in St. Maarten. We also recognize and congratulate the athletes and their participation in sporting events and we wish them and the organizations with upcoming tournaments much success moving forward.