‘Give martial arts its due’
The martial arts fraternity is calling for equality for combat sports.
President of the Caribbean Sambo Association, Jason Fraser, made the call yesterday during a press conference to announce the 20th anniversary and staging of the Bridgetown Burning Martial Arts Competition at the Blue Horizon Hotel.
“We want equality in sport and in the distribution of funding. Some years ago, I called on the then Prime Minister [Freundel] Stuart to come on board and to actually inject some funding into this organisation that has been putting Barbados more so on the map globally in terms of sports tourism.
“I am sure for each year we had close to ten different countries and this year we are targeting much more than that,” Fraser said.
“We can have at least 20 countries coming here but it has to happen with a proper structure and full help of the Government, the Barbados Olympic Association as well as the corporate sponsors.
“I need to say to [Minister of Sport] [John] King that the time has come for you to make a footprint for combat sport on a whole because Barbados has a lot of martial artists who are young people and they actually need to be treated with equality,” he added.
Fraser pointed out that for the last 19 years the event has been a household name and it was time that combat sport came to the fore especially with the progress beach wrestling was making.
Olympic wrestling growing
“Olympic wrestling has been growing tremendously in Barbados. Barbados beach wrestling is taking the lead in the Caribbean.
“The closest who can compete with it is Brazil which is the mecca when it comes to the Pan American region.”
He said the time has come for
to be a calendar event by the sports tourism sector, suggesting that it could be incorporated with some cultural programmes.
“The kind of exposure it brings not only to the people of Barbados but also to the Caribbean [is significant].
“What president of the Barbados Wrestling Association Rollins Alleyne is doing in Barbados is taking the lead as a Caribbean sports ambassador because he isn’t just focusing on activities.
“He is the only person in the Caribbean who does a lot of events for combat sports,” said Fraser.
President of the Caribbean Sambo Association Jason Fraser (left) and president of the Barbados Wrestling Association Rollins Alleyne at yesterday’s press conference at Blue Horizon Hotel.