By Aaron Humes: Former PUP leader and former minister of sport Francis Fonseca recently observed on Facebook that, “no government (PUP or UDP) has made serious meaningful investments in Sports…this has to change!”
Attached to the post is a quote from Nelson Mandela, who during his time as president of South Africa supported the integration of the country’s national rugby union team which secured the international championship of that sport on home soil. Mandela called sports a means of changing the world, bringing unity, inspiration, and hope out of despair.
The statement comes after a latest dismal performance at the Olympics for Belize, which sent three athletes in track and field and judo. Belize’s only international medal in competition have come at the Pan American Games in women’s softball.
In other sports, basketball has experienced a downward slide after the highs of a CARICOM championship in 1998 and Central American silver in 2009; football has been on the downslide after Belize’s Gold Cup appearance in 2013; and no other sport has been successful internationally.
Responses online were positive, focusing on improving Belize’s facilities, training and sponsorship and strengthening the physical education program in schools.