Now that the Carnival celebrations have ended, the focus will be placed upon varying forms of recreation such as sea bathing, and sporting events. To many of us, the Lenten season will attract a completely different form of activity: searching for inner peace and spiritual guidance to benefit our health and our family.
Being the ‘sports nut’ that I have always been, I’d like to focus on our national sporting associations (NSAs), many of which seem to be struggling with producing a level of competence in almost every aspect of their organisation.
The failures of the administrations of football, cricket, futsal, cycling, gymnastics, table tennis, for example, are too numerous to comment on here. Of course, the two major sports, cricket and football will be facing elections within the next few months, and who knows the number of court cases which may result before, during and after the elections are held.
Nothing has worked—some individuals would go the full length to find ways and means to indulge in personality clashes to hold top positions in their respective association.
My question is to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, seeing that the apparent qualified personnel should all be employed within that office. Will the Ministry counsel these associations in proper sport management, ensuring they operate within the rules and regulations of their respective constitutions, and work towards supporting their sportsmen and women so that they enjoy what they are doing?
We read of the large sums from the national treasury to credit the accounts of these sport associations, but we hardly receive any proof or justification as to how these funds are disbursed.
Some of the issues in the NSAs are disturbing. There is the constant hue and cry from numerous persons who have not received their salaries, and in many instances, there seems to be no form of democracy, with presidents ‘calling the shots’ unilaterally.
Even regionally there are worrying signs: we are hearing of the serious battle for the chairmanship of Cricket West Indies. There are issues concerning the selection of teams for the three formats of the game, and paying players under contract. What is more ridiculous is the fact that some of the finest players in the region are removing themselves from the availability list.
I believe NSAs should be instructed to call on selected personnel: sports management experts and attorneys, and their patrons, most of whom are legal luminaries.
In the case of the upcoming elections, the clubs should insist upon a “manifesto in writing” and public meetings where they must engage in giving promises regarding their plans to improve the quality of the sport with which they are seeking leadership. This series of court cases, confrontation with players, and most of all, unilateral decisions by presidents must be rejected.
I disagree with those trying to abuse the voting process by positioning friends and in some cases family who are not even qualified to vote at meetings.
Maybe the Lenten season can bring some sanity and honesty to those who are desperate to become heads of sports associations of our country.