‘Don’t miss chance to give sport views’
GOVERNMENT needs to recognise the importance of sport, it has been argued.
Education, Sport & Culture launched a consultation earlier this week aimed at informing a new strategy for sport.
Those involved in sport in the island have said it is important that as many people as possible fill it out to give their views.
The strategy was long-overdue, they added.
Dave Piesing, founder of the Sports Tourism Action Group, welcomed the consultation.
‘It is a very welcome step forward that ESC are recognising the importance of sport,’ he said.
‘There are many people who feel the essence of sport was lost in ESC – there was a real concern that sport and culture was lost among the education debate. So this is a welcome initiative.’
He hoped the strategy would look at healthy lifestyles, provision of facilities and would recognise the benefit of sports tourism.
‘I don’t really think that government has taken on board just how important sport is to the people of Guernsey,’ Mr Piesing added. ‘There is a lack of recognition.’
He added that the Sports Commission worked really hard with very little support by the States and that needed to be addressed.
Sports Commission operations director Graham Chester said the strategy was a piece of work that needed doing.
‘We are happy to assist where we can in making sure it is a strategy that is achievable and sustainable,’ he added.
‘My message to people is please, please, please hand back your consultation document. It is a wide-ranging strategy and we need as many views as possible.’
Guernsey Cricket Board chief executive and director of cricket, Mark Latter, also welcomed the consultation but hoped physical education and activity would be treated separately to competitive sport.
The consultation document did appear to be very broad, he added.
‘It is a big topic – at least it is being spoken about.’
He hoped the strategy would cover the cost of travel.
High travel costs limited what clubs and organisations could do.
Guernsey Rugby Club chairman Charles McHugh hoped the States would start recognising the value of sports tourism.
The club, now in National Two, was bringing over hundred of supporters each winter.
‘I think we deserve some form of recognition for our contribution to sports tourism.’
He said the tourism board in Jersey had sponsored the Caesareans’ team for several seasons.
He believed the Guernsey club could demonstrate a business case for VisitGuernsey to do the same.