Sports industry important to local economy

It has long been proven that Sports is a billion-dollar business and has immense value to society. There is the socio-cultural contributions as well as the economic and political impact and influence of Sports.

This was the statement of Dr. Rudolph Alleyne who holds his Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology, Sports Psychology and Exercise Physiology.

As the world looks to find a way forward after being hit by the COVID-19 Pandemic – Sports has not been spared.

In Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced on Thursday some sports will be allowed to start back on the island. Those include golf, running, walking, cycling, tennis and road tennis however two of the more popular sports remain off the list which are cricket and football due to the nature of the sport and contact.

Alleyne told The Barbados Advocate that Sports has a positive and important impact on local economies by providing jobs, income and economic activity. Many countries also use sport as a political tool to display their prowess.

The Olympics has been postponed for a year and Alleyne said that Sports is a billion-dollar industry. “It is estimated that the Japanese spent in excess of $40 billion,” as they were slated to host the 2020 Olympics.

It has been published that the global sports industry reached a value of nearly $488.5 billion in 2018, with a compound growth rate of over 4% since 2014.

Before the impact of COVID-19 the prediction was for growth just shy of 6% which would have taken the value over $610 billion by 2022.

Alleyne estimates that sports accounts for anywhere between 1-4% of a country’s GDP and when it comes to Barbados he believes it is 2-3% of our GDP.

“I am actually doing a study which will give more accurate numbers to the contribution of sport locally. So if we take Barbados’ GDP from 2018 which is 5.145 Billion US dollar and extrapolate the numbers then we can assume that sport would have contributed between $102 million and $154 million.

“Sports will bounce back post Covid 19 for sure. This is a temporary break in normal transmission. Now is the time to examine, assess, and evaluate what we have been doing and come with new and improved approaches to build the industry.”

Alleyne believes that Barbados can further develop the sports industry on the island with the creation of semi-profession leagues and programmes which will enable sports to be a greater contributor to economic activity. This would mean a greater focus on training, increasing more viable and quality programming, and amplifying the business side of the sporting product.”

For this to happen and be successful Barbados will need to employ qualified personnel who can implement programmes and provide the requisite structure for a Ministry or Department of Sports.

“That is the way to start. They can then work on developing suitable Sports policy which would provide the framework and give direction to the development of sport in Barbados.

“Sports like any other area needs qualified experienced professionals to give direction to the industry.”

Barbados Advocate

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