The NCSA SPORTS – Not Drugs Programme is an ongoing initiative which aims to reduce drug use amongst sportspersons in Barbados. The programme has been facilitated for over a decade with sport administrators and athletes from national organizations and community-based groups across Barbados. Sport continues to provide a practical foundation from which to engage, educate and empower diverse adult and youth populations. Given that the overall goal of the SPORTS – Not Drugs programme is to reduce drug use among sportspersons in Barbados, NCSA consistently collaborates and builds on existing partnerships developed overtime with key sports stakeholders.
- Barbados Olympic Association
- National Sports Council
- Ministry of Youth & Community Empowerment
The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) is Barbados’ national drug authority and has responsibility for the coordination, facilitation, evaluation and sustainability of programmes aimed at the prevention, reduction and elimination of substance abuse. In this regard, NCSA conducts universal drug education, drug interventions and training for sport administrators and sportspersons on an ongoing basis. Sustained collaboration with national sport organizations and community-based groups provides practical avenues for the gathering of information, which in turn is used to inform the development of evidence-based standardized approaches and strategies to counteract the use of banned substances, practices and methods in sport – which is commonly referred to as ‘doping’.
The Barbados Policy on Doping in Sport also outlines our country’s commitment to protecting the health of all those who engage in sport and physical education based on the principles of ‘fair play’. The policy states that “the pursuit of drug-free sport is a matter of public interest and reflects the common interest and consensus of athletes, coaches, sport governing bodies and the Government of Barbados.”
Facilitation of the SPORTS – Not Drugs Programme ensures that NCSA contributes to our national obligation; having ratified the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping In Sport, and ensures that the Barbados Government continues to adopt and utilize appropriate policies and measures aimed at the elimination of the use of prohibited / banned substances, practices and methods. The facilitation of SPORTS – Not Drugs Administrators & Athletes’ Workshops provide another timely opportunity for NCSA to educate additional sportspersons; particularly coaches, managers and athletes from over 24 communities across the Northern, Central and Southern zones of Barbados.
Through these workshops, the NCSA seeks to reduce drug use amongst sportspersons in Barbados by empowering them with knowledge and information on drug use in sport; signs and symptoms of drug use; drug intervention strategies and services; knowledge of healthy lifestyle practices and personal development and career opportunities available through involvement in sport. It is envisaged that feedback ascertained from participants will be used to enhance the programme content, delivery methods as well as future sport-related research projects.