Councillor Cruyff Buckley has been elected by Council as the new Sports & Physical Activity Champion for St Helena, following Councillor Gavin Ellick relinquishing the role.
Elected Members have shown a clear commitment to sports and physical activity and their importance to the health and wellbeing of the St Helena community. The role of the Sports & Physical Activity Champion is to actively support involvement in sports, promote physical activity – and encourage everyone on St Helena – young or old, disabled or able-bodied – to strive to meet the appropriate physical activity guidelines.
Councillor Buckley will work with existing organisations and individuals to support them and raise the profile of sports and physical activity on the Island, including participation in international competitions.
Councillor Buckley commented on his new role:
“I am delighted to be assigned the role of Sports & Physical Activity Champion, and I completely recognise the importance of sports, not only as an Island pastime but also as a platform to bring the wider community together as it has done so effectively in the past.
“There are many challenges that lie ahead, but with the full support of Islanders and colleagues, we can deliver an effective strategy that caters for all ages and abilities. This in turn will also promote more social interaction as well as a more physical and healthier lifestyle.”
Council also agreed that a working group should be set up, under the leadership of Councillor Derek Thomas and including the Sports Champion and officials and representatives from various sporting organisations on the Island, to draft a Sports Strategy for St Helena.
The strategy will seek to include:
- A range of sports to be supported through existing clubs
- A range of activities to be delivered in the community and in schools
- Partnership work with SHG Directorates to target specific groups to improve health and social outcomes
- Support to clubs through coaching and equipment purchases
- A national competition programme for elite athletes
- Approaching possible funders and organisations (such as FIFA) to further grow sport on the Island
- Representing the Island locally and internationally
Councillor Derek Thomas said:
“I am pleased that St Helena Government has accepted and shown a high level of commitment to sports as a key activity within our strategic objectives.
“Sports play a key role in our society and there is a clear need for our sporting requirements to be continuously developed. When St Helena Airport opens for scheduled flights there will be many more opportunities for the Island to develop sporting activities to a more professional level – which will also contribute to our economic growth and the health and wellbeing of the people of St Helena.”
27 September 2016