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BOC positioned to be prime sports finance/development ally of government

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle and Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) President Romell Knowles should forge a relationship whereby they become great allies in the interest of The Bahamas’ sports brand.

If they do, many more wonderful accomplishments would be realized by entities within the national sports fraternity.

This is indeed one of the aspects of our sports machinery that should be explained in detail to every incoming government minister. The Director of Sports is essential to national development and effective/productive networking between the relevant parties.

The BOC is a special sports creature, so much different from federations. Unlike federations which as a rule, depend on government grants to fortify their annual programs, the BOC is that pillar of support, in place always, financially and from a development perspective. One of the primary mandates of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is for NOCs (National Olympic Committees) around the world to help lead the way in heightening sporting programs in member countries.

As such, NOCs would/could, in conjunction with government sports agencies, whenever invited, assist with national development programs and special funding as well. The Olympic Movement is structured whereby there ought not be any jurisdiction mix-ups. The authorities are clear.

NOCs process accreditations for teams from federations to compete in the Olympics, Junior Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games, Pan American Games and the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games. Accordingly, NOCs are fully responsible for those teams.

NOCs also, financially assist from time to time, and afford member organizations ample opportunities for training within respective portfolios. This is a great help to governments and if coordinated properly, in our case in particular, The Bahamas’ sports brand could be much greater.

This scenario should be presented to sports ministers so as to avoid any misunderstanding of jurisdictions, and to enable them to be aware of the ways in which governments can partner with NOCs for the betterment of national sports programs.

So, there it is.

It would be most appropriate for Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Rolle, along with selected associates, to have an important session with BOC Chief Knowles and his team, to establish certain facts regarding a proposed partnership. Such a meeting should have taken place long ago, quite frankly, from the outset of Minister Rolle assuming the position of the government sports czar.

It must be fully understood that the BOC is the one national sports body that is positioned to be the prime finance/development ally of the government. It must be made clear also, that the sports ministry has no authority whatsoever over the BOC. They would come together at the table with equal sports clout, given by different higher authorities, in one case the IOC, and the other, the Government of The Bahamas.

The two should get together in a meaningful manner in order to steer the sports ship of the state along a course that maximizes our potential.

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

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