…says some athletes are being selected based on favouritism, not merit
Sporting associations and federations are being called upon to submit all relevant documents to the National Sports Commission. This call follows a stern warning by Director of Sport Christopher Jones who notes that if the requirement is not met, funding will not be made available.
“One of the criteria that we set up in 2018 in terms of making funds available to them and we are hoping that the new commission board endorses this, is that unless a particular association or federation submits the database on their athletes, that association or federation will not receive funding from the sports commission. Simply because we do not know, who we are giving the monies to and why,” Jones explained.
The Director of Sport told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that all associations and federations were asked to submit their databases containing the list of their respective athletes. This, he said, will assist the Commission in determining whether funding for certain athletes going abroad to represent the country is justified.
According to Jones, some athletes are being selected based on favouritism and not on merit. “You have athletes who are chosen above others simply because their parents are big-time donors to a particular association, that sort of justification is given as to why some of these athletes are chosen, and that is not good enough for us.”
The Sport Director pointed out that the monies being spent are hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars, and when funding any association or federation the Commission “… wants to be able to be in a position to justify to the taxpayers of the country that we funded these athletes because (for example) John Jones and Michelle Singh are the two most qualified athletes to go and represent us at these regional and international meets.”
Jones noted that when an athlete participates in an overseas event, he or she is representing an entire country and not just a specific association or organisation.
The Director disclosed that in the past, he came under fire for not providing funding for athletes. However, Jones said at the end of every quarter when meeting with his superiors, he is required to “justify why these monies were allocated.”
Sporting associations and federations are also being urged to submit their calendar of events for the year, their audited financial statements for the previous year and be up-to-date on their Annual General Meetings.