I have been trying to contemplate the recent debacle with the election of officers at the Annual General Meeting of the Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC).
After reading Rae Roberts’ account of what transpired on Saturday May 25 and subsequent conversations with some sport administrators on the island it appears that the GOC is now racked by discord.
For its part, the GOC has not reacted or provide clarity on Mr Roberts’ claims of unfair treatment.
Roberts, by his own account, should have been familiar with the by-laws of the GOC as an incumbent and senior executive member. He can’t be excused for his failure to understand and interpret the constitution of his organisation.
However, the Secretariat should provide guidance to its members and affiliates. It failed to do such and is equally at fault. There was no winner in this fiasco but a clear indication that there is an urgent need for a re-evaluation of sports administration in Grenada.
The new executive of the GOC will be charged with the responsibility of repairing the perception that the organisation has become an ‘elite club’ and those who are prepared to challenge the status quo are cast aside, according to a recent correspondence from a former administrator.
I am hopeful that the elected officers will be mindful of the sentiments being expressed and find a way to regain the confidence among their peers.
Sometime ago this writer suggested the convening of a summit to discuss the state of sports in Grenada. I want to repeat this call and with urgency.
This gathering should have one objective – to mend the broken fences and move forward for the good of sports in Grenada.
In the meantime, St Lucia is taking the bold step and will use the Sport in Black and White Conference and Youth Forum to maximise on the great potential through sport, especially for young people. Our own Jason Roberts will join a list of experts participating in this activity in neighbouring St Lucia from June 10-14.
An attempt was made to convene a similar gathering in New York last year but was pushed back because of the unavailability of key persons. However, it has been agreed that available or unavailable there will be a meeting of the minds this year. Initial discussions have been held with some interested parties.
It’s more than two months since our Secondary School athletes competed at the Inter-Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships, sponsored by Scotiabank and many of them, except probably for Westerhall Secondary School (WHSS) have hung up their running shoes until next year. WHSS competed at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia in late April and then also at an organised meet in St David early last month.
Since then our athletes have been ‘chilling’ because the official track and field season in Grenada ended on March 21 – the final day of the 2013 Scotiabank Inter-Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.
Previously, I have made references to the lack of competition for our ‘high schoolers’ and the dreaded fact that there are little or no organised sporting activities at the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) where hundreds enroll every year.
Only this week it was revealed that Scotiabank is sponsoring 10 track and field teams from High Schools in the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to participate in an international track and field meet in Toronto, Canada. The teams will compete in the Scotiabank International High School 4x100m Relay Championship.
As the main and title sponsor of Secondary Schools’ track and field in Grenada, at least Scotiabank could have extended the courtesy to a school team(s) to participate in this event since not many of our athletes are fortunate to compete at the Junior CARIFTA Games, if selected, or at the Penn Relays, if their school could afford.
I am aware that Consul General Jenny Gumbs have been in deep dialogue with the organisers since after she was made aware of the situation and is now working at all odds to ensure that there is Grenadian representation. She must be commended for taking the initiative.
Move aside Kirani and Rondell!
He is only 12 years old and Shaemar Mills has grabbed the attention of local track and field fans with his awesome display of talents on the track last week.
The St Mary’s Junior School standout captured the outstanding male athlete award at the Ribena Private Primary Schools’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Wednesday, by winning the 100, 200 and 400 metres as well as the High and Long Jumps events.
But the revelation was the potential and seemingly raw talent of Shaemar especially over the one-lap event and fresh memories of a young Kirani James, the reigning World and Olympic 400m champion.
Hopefully, he is pulled into a track club and given an opportunity to train and compete at his maximum.
Equally, there were outstanding performances from Shane Derby (Grenada Junior Academy) and Makayla Seales (Grenada Junior Academy).
A rough comparison of some performances from the Private Primary Schools put them ahead of their colleagues at the National Primary Schools.
For example, Keshon Francis of St Andrew won the Boys’ Under-13 Shot Put with a distance of 8.76 metres. However, D’Andre Stephen of Alpha Junior School won the same age group last Wednesday with 10.11m. There were similar performances on the track especially in the 100 and 200m.
Additionally, this strengthens the continuous appeal by former athletic administrator George ‘Porgie’ Cherebin for the inclusion of the Private Primary Schools into the National Primary Schools’ Sports Programme.
Seven parishes including Carriacou and Petite Martinique are represented at the National Primary Schools’ Meet so there is always an extra lane available. The Private Schools could be given that eighth lane, according to Mr Cherebin. His logics are worth considering.
Therefore, the private schools should hasten their affiliation to the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) to ensure that their athletes benefit from their programmes.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of GrenadaSports.