Sports ministry should insist upon federations’ compliance
It seems fashionable at this time, for fingers to be pointed at the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle.
Unfortunately, recently, pertinent information, attributed to Minister Rolle, was disclosed via social media, and the responses were in abundance, on several chat lines. Several of the responses were disparaging.
Firstly, she should have never been put in that situation. If she endorsed the messenger, the minister was wrong. If the sports stalwart acted independently (as a self-appointed messenger), protocol was doubly breached. It was simply an “out of order” situation which has absolutely no place in a progressive sports culture, whereby we agree to at least respect each other.
So, the minister has indeed taken some hits.
Ironically, though, many of those who point a finger, or gloat, have long been guilty directly, or by association, of non-compliance and ought to get their acts together. While I hold the view that the sports minister needs to be brought up to date on ongoing matters, and properly educated about our national sports system, there is another focus that is paramount in the interest of properly structuring and maximizing the national sports brand.
The Bahamas Association of Athletic Association (BAAA) has been a major guilty party when it comes to non-compliance. I single out the BAAA, not to target that organization, but to give a prime example.
The annual sports grants are only supposed to be advanced, upon the ministry having received respective programs for the fiscal year detailing travel, costs, etc. The ensuing year, before grants are given, financial reports verifying the previous fiscal period’s expenditure, should be submitted and approved by the sports ministry.
The Ministry of of Youth, Sports and Culture has been quite delinquent in this area and shares some of the blame.
Now, let’s look at the subvention arrangement.
In the first place, federations make the application for an athlete to be placed in the Subvention Program, to receive funding through one of four varying categories each month, for development purposes only. The respective federations are obligated to the sports ministry, to monitor the said athletes and ensure that performances worthy of subvention, are ongoing. If an athlete is injured and unable to compete, an official report should be passed on to the ministry with the full explanation as to why the athlete should remain on subvention, or not.
The same is the case if an athlete has not competed for over a year. The federation is duty-bound to inform the ministry of the status. In the past, subvention payments have been paid to athletes who had stopped competing.
Again, in this regard, the ministry should be more forceful than it has been.
However, the biggest sports sin is in the non-compliance areas of neglect. Intentionally or not, federations have been guilty.
So, while the sports minister, I understand, is making efforts to get a sound bearing within the fraternity, the suggestion here is that, to put everything in order, the insistence on compliance by federations would be appropriate.
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