NEW YORK, September 18, 2016 – Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell the business of sports for the region must now be seen as an urgent priority and supports a sports summit to gather ideas.
Dr Mitchell said that there is a lack of proper structure and leadership of sporting associations in the region and this needs to be addressed to match the exploits of sportsmen and women.
“I think that’ll be a good idea,” said Dr Mitchell in an interview with GrenadaSports.
“To tell you the honest truth it might be something to think about not just cricket but sports in general. The fact is not just cricket there are indeed serious problems with the whole question of structure and leadership of sporting organisations whether its athletics, football, cricket table tennis. The organisation and leadership need to be examined in the context of what’s needed for modern organisation in the 21st century and therefore I think it’s something that we need.
So it’s not just cricket, it’s about other organisations in different countries. There seems to a problem with the lack of an appropriate modern structure that governs sporting organisations in different countries throughout the region,” he said.
However, the Grenadian prime minister admits that sports have always occupied the agenda of regional leaders but some there has been a lack of cohesion within CARICOM.
He cited contradictory statements by some leaders which he believes may have provided ‘fodder’ for complacency among regional sports administrators.
“The problem I think is that we’ve to speak with one voice. The problem is that when you’ve some of us (leaders) going in different directions especially when we make decisions at the CARICOM level, and one or two of us go off on our own and make opposite statements and claiming that we were not part of the decision I think that becomes divisive and unhelpful and it then gives those who wish to continue to do as they want the opportunity to do so and I think that is unfortunate because the region is the one that’s losing,” said Dr Mitchell, who has been an outspoken critic of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its current governance structure.
However, Dr Mitchell said that governments will continue to invest heavily in sporting infrastructure because it’s about the development of young people in the region.
“We (governments) have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars beyond the abilities of countries, and you know it in Grenada, for example, with the facilities we’ve put there. A lot of things could have been done with the money but because of our love for sports and the love for the young people of the region,” he said.
“It’s about our young people and it’s not just about a game, it’s about the future of our young people and we see the opportunities that are created regionally and internationally for successful sportsmen. So sports can be an enormous lift for the economic development.”