‘Give mar­tial arts its due’

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page - Bridgetown Burn­ing

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.

(RG)

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.

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