Democratic Party Presents Party Platform on Sports and Culture

Emphasizes Sports and Culture as a Means to Promote National Identity


The Democratic Party on Tuesday presented its Party Platform on Sports and Culture to the electorate on St. Maarten, highlighting its standpoint on the development of national culture and the support of sports as a vehicle for national identity on St. Maarten; “It is the conviction of the Democratic Party that Sports and Culture should feature prominently as we pursue national development.


“True to this conviction, where sports is concerned, during the D.P.’s most recent governing period the Department of Sports was created to exclusively concentrate on, stimulate and support developments in the area of sports. Whereas the Department of Sports is charged with the policy and planning aspects with regard to sports development, the National Sport Institute has been recently established to execute planned projects and sport programs. The N.S.I. is also charged with coordinating sports and recreation activities for children, men and women in general and in particular the coordinating of national interscholastic sports competitions, sports related activities for the youth as well as the adults and the elderly.


“To facilitate the practice of sports and tournaments, the DP envisions a massive upgrading program for our sports facilities, such as phase B of the Raoul Illidge Sport Complex, the upgrading of the Little League Ball Park and the upgrading of the L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium. This upgrading program will also be the responsibility of the N.S.I,” mentions the Democratic Party Platform on Sports specifically.


With regards to culture, the DP’s vision is to strengthen pride on St. Maarten as a nation through the promotion of its culture; “It has always been the Democratic Party’s policy in government, as part of its nation building efforts to through culture strengthen awareness of and pride in being a St. Martiner.  Culture as a unifying factor represents our identity as a people and represents the foundation upon which the D.P. is building our St. Maarten Nation. It is safe to say that several facets of our culture have blossomed over the past years. It is primarily our youth that has placed the focus on our cultural heritage, through their exposure to different and unique forms of art. They have given a new impetus   to the manifestation of our culture through these different art forms. This is a development that must be encouraged and stimulated. Hence the DP’s interest in the private initiative for the Dutch Quarter area that includes a center for the performing arts. Inspired by the Dutch Quarter initiative, the Democratic Party will promote programs designed to develop youth in leadership roles. This will be done in order to enable them to actively participate in dialogue with government regarding collaborative efforts to strengthen their sense of pride in and responsibility for their community, the preservation of its monuments and intangible cultural heritage,” emphasized the DP Party Platform.


The Party also presented concrete plans for the development of infrastructure in support of culture, thus creating cultural institutions for the island; “Where infrastructure for the creation, stimulation and support of cultural awareness is concerned, designs for the Performing Arts and Convention Center are completed and a Cultural Track Project is also under consideration. In this light the DP will pursue the upgrading and completion of the John Larmonie Center as envisaged originally. The  (re) vitalization of our culture has also been visible in other areas, such as the literary arts, dance, and theatre.  In fact, our culture is constantly being transformed as “old meets new”. The D.P. will encourage this revitalization through the promotion and support of the development of performance, visual, literary, and creative arts, from recreational to competitive on St. Maarten using the schools, community centers and NGO’s in the districts as spring-boards,” concluded the DP Party Platform on Culture and Sports.