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Caribbean Studies

Module 2: Promoting Caribbean Development


Sports
This refers to physical activities that have a history of rules about how a game is played or any
casual activity for example, aerobics or walking.
Sports and Development

According to Mohammad, sports should not be limited to competitive games, or with a focus on
talents and super- athletes, instead, sports should be seen as that which encompasses the
holistic development of the individual to include improvement of physical fitness and
proficiency at a particular sporting activity.

Generation of Income and Employment

 Sports can generate revenues by marketing the sport which can increase productivity
and self- sufficiency this is only possible with funding from the government and
associations from outside the region.
 Sports tourism is one aspect of the tourist product that has contributed to the income of
the region via test matches and one day international cricket competitions. Events such
as the World Cup Cricket in 2007 have generated income for the tourist industry and
locals who sell their products at the event.
 Also, international sporting events has led to the development of local facilities for
example, the Trelawny multi purpose stadium in Jamaica, Bourda ( Guyana), Queens
Park Oval ( Trinidad & Tobago); Kensington Oval ( Barbados) among others.
 The mass media plays an instrument role in the marketability and profitability of sports
by publicizing sporting events across the region and internationally which draws
spectators.
 The growth of sport for entertainment (elite athletes, high profile teams) as for physical
activity has contributed to the generation of income and employment in the region. For
example, professional players receive salaries and additional income from endorsement
contracts which are taxed by their respective countries, and so too are the profits of
WICB; taxes from the media houses and companies contributes to the revenues of the
country.
 Coaches and those involved in sports management- from the experts, nutritionists,
personal trainers, medical personnel and other support staff- represents growing areas
of employment.
 With diversification in sports other areas for employment are opening for example,
sports medicine, sports psychology and exercise psychology.
 Sports also provides employment for construction workers who build and maintain
stadiums; retailers, clerical workers and sports journalist.

Sports and Fitness

 Sports are important for physical fitness and the prevention of chronic illnesses. It helps
to lower heart disease, strokes, obesity and osteoporosis.

 It helps to strength the bones and muscles and the cardio-vascular system. These in turn
contribute to greater endurance and physical fitness, enabling the athlete or individual
to improve performance. Part of this includes the will to be consistent at diet and
exercise.

 Health and fitness, though, is a holistic condition that depends not only on physical well
being but also involves the mental and emotional state of the individual. For example,
research shows that an exercise programme or involvement in a sport helps individuals
to achieve lower rates of anxiety and stress levels.
 According to Howard Gardner, sports and physical education helps individuals to use
their bodies in a skilled way for self expression and to achieve goals which are an
important aspect human development.

Educational Opportunities

 Demonstration of excellence in sports afford many talented Caribbean students to get


access to higher education which affords them social mobility and an income.

 The US sports scholarships offered by universities have afforded students to get tertiary
education.

 Also, these US universities provide many avenues for students to access funding- grants
for under representative minorities.

 Local organizations are offering sports scholarships. For example, the Caribbean Tourism
Organization now provides scholarships and study grants for those athletes wishing to
study tourism hospitality and languages locally.

 The educational opportunities offered to Caribbean nationals contribute to the


development of the country when some of these athletes return to the Caribbean to use
their talents and skills in sports or other areas.

 They are able to contribute to the national good through their expertise in different
fields for example persons like Grace Jackson Small Juliet Cuthbert and Dion Hemmings.

 Our Sports personalities help to market the region in attracting visitors to the region.

 Although some of these athletes live abroad they represent Jamaica on the international
area by bringing fame and glory to the region and they are an inspiration to many
potential athletes.

 Involvement in sport help many at risk teenagers to stay in school and to keep away
from unhealthy practices and even learn marketable skills within a sports programme.

Caribbean Identity

 Sports have helped to engender a sense of Caribbean identity most noted cricket,
football and athletics. Cricket has been able to do this as most Caribbean countries
identify with the West Indies Cricket Team.

 According C.L.R. James ( 1963) there is no single bond that unites Caribbean people than
cricket. He suggests that cricket occupies a unique space in the psyche. Although cricket
is modeled from the culture of the British Caribbean people according to James is
embraced and become west indianized making it into something fiery and “better” than
the British version.

 James posits that cricket in particular has helped in the process of decolonization where
we as a people try to find our sense of self, pride and develop our capabilities.

 Football, track and field events and swimming are represented internationally which
brings much pride to Caribbean nationals. For example, the long and successful history
of Jamaica in track and field, second only to the US in the amount of medals won, is an
astounding feat, given our scare resources in promoting sports.
 Football is highly popular over the region, the qualifying matches for the World Cup
presents a unique opportunity to see the many classes and social groups in Caribbean
society feeling a sense of common identity as they cheer on the national football team.

 Sports are incorporated in the school’s curriculum to build a sense of unity among
diverse peoples.

Discipline and Morale

 Sports help to build a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among its players.

 It is said that within sport a person can achieve a high moral character by observing the
spirit of fair play, honesty and endurance that the sport demands.

 It all depends on the approach an individual takes to play the game that will determine
success.

 The Olympics is not just a phenomenal internationally event which brings together the
best competitors from all over the world but it imbues a sense of respect for ancient
traditions. It also helps to unify people and cultures from all over the world. It is thus not
only about sport itself but the peace which it brings.

 The Olympics provide an avenue to display humanitarian attitudes, fairness and justice
and which nurtures a more peaceful society.

Sources
MOHAMMED, Jeniffer. (2007). CAPE Caribbean Studies, An Interdisciplinary Approach. Macmillan Caribbean.
[pg. 299-312]
Beckford, Evol. (2007) Caribbean Studies Study Notes