Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Sports Minister Rolle moves forward despite challenges

All smiles do not mean full satisfaction, and an absence of frustration.

There she was on Wednesday at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in New Providence, our Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle looking elegant and politically correct with the victorious Bahamian swim delegation.

It was a happy photo, indicative of the delight in The Bahamas cementing its position at the top of the Caribbean in junior swimming. The accomplishment of a fifth crown in the last six years and the third straight, ranks swimming with junior track and field of the early 1980s, and amateur boxing of the 1990s. Minister Rolle was in place to greet the young, sterling sports ambassadors, and rightly so.

Is she a happy camper in the role of sports minister?

I can personally attest, based on an early meeting with the government’s sports czar, noting her directives at the time, and later finding out that she executed the appropriate follow-ups, that she has the utmost respect for the national sports fraternity and wants to do right by all of the respective entities.

Inside sources, though, have confirmed that the process has been frustrating for the minister because some matters she signed off on, were not acted upon. Of course, when elements of the sporting fraternity become concerned about issues not being addressed, fingers point directly at the minster, unfortunately, in a goodly number of instances.

Is she being attended to via the protocol her office demands?

Should there be a meeting of the minds within the sports ministry, with the minister insisting on a full picture of the sports scene, so that she could go on and function as appropriately as she would like?

Yesterday, for instance, the minister was on hand at the airport but, according to a strong source, there appeared to be a disconnection with her staff. She was unable, I was told, to correctly identify a very high-profile national sports executive. It appears that, perhaps, Minister Rolle has not been briefed properly by Director of Sports Tim Munnings and others.

What he ought to have done at the very outset of the new minister assuming office, was identify for her all of the quasi-government organizations and their top executives; the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) hierarchy; federations and their leaders; and private recreational sports groups of significance.

This kind of full intelligence should have been afforded to the new minister. If so, she would have known them all by now, personally, or at least have a good enough awareness to be able to identify them on sight.

Then, the mistake in the identity of a leading sports executive figure on Wednesday, would not have been made by Minister Rolle, as reported. She has been faulted in sporting circles, but I submit she is also disadvantaged because of the lack of provided sports intelligence.

In that light, it is my understanding that Minister Rolle plans a high-powered meeting with her sports officers soon. Such is necessary so that she can be fortified with ample knowledge of the national sporting terrain, in order to drive the government’s efforts toward the further enhancement of the national brand.

Munnings, as the national sports director, has the obligation to be that strong link of sports intelligence between Minister Rolle and the officers who report directly to him.

It is indeed a challenging situation Minister Rolle is in.

Best Wishes!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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