With the London Olympics 2012 just months away, those in a sporty frame of mind come the holiday season may well be looking for a holiday destination that caters for their desire to experience a variety of sporting activities amidst a backdrop of paradise and splendour.
Ideal for satisfying the twin desires of an attractive location and a craving for sporting endeavour is the Island of Barbados, widely considered to be the sporting heart of the Caribbean.
Barbadians take their sports very seriously and there are a number of varied pursuits available on the Island including such popular fare as Cricket, Golf, Cycling, Tennis, and Horse Racing/Riding, as well as those with a little less global appeal like Paragliding and Polo.
As a direct result of the Barbadian government’s decision to introduce a policy of sport-based tourism, the Island’s sporting calendar is bursting at the seams all year round, providing opportunities aplenty for holidaying visitors to take part both as a spectator and active participant.
Barbados is home to an impressive collection of world-class golf courses and resorts that cater for the recreational golfer as well as the more seriously inclined practitioner. Their number includes Royal Westmoreland, Sandy Lane, Rockley Golf Club, and Apes Hill Golf Club, which is also the newest in the Caribbean.
The Apes Hill Club opened in December 2009 and in its short existence has built its reputation to become the premier golfing destination in the Caribbean. Corresponding closely with the sporting enthusiast’s desire for ‘splendour’ mentioned earlier, Apes Hill can be found in the very centre of Barbados, surrounded by 470 acres, a third of which is used for golf and the rest as a scenic montage of meadows, forests and quarries.
A religion called Cricket
Barbadians treat their Cricket more as a religion than a sporting pastime if truth be told. Introduced to Barbados by the original English settlers, Cricket is played on the streets with homemade bats and balls, in local competitions organised by the Barbados Cricket Association, and for visitors to the Island, there are numerous cricket pitches available to give the batting arm some practice.
If spectating is preferred, the Kensington Oval (scene of the 2007 Cricket World Cup), home of the West Indies Cricket team, is the place to be seen. Only the best players in the Caribbean are selected for the West Indies team and many famous names have plied their trade in this area of the world including the legendary likes of Malcolm Marshall, Desmond Haynes, and Garry Sobers.
Welcome to watersports
Crystal clear waters and an abundance of watersports are likely to attract many to the coastal regions for the Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sailing, and Surfing.
As you’d expect, Barbados is not found wanting in the watersport providers department with Barbados Blue Watersports, based at Needham’s Point, offering a professional service for the experienced and the novice alike as they experience the excitement of sports above the waves and the wonder of underwater escapades.