The Minister of Sports Lanisha Rolle and her husband said to be bound for Doha with a delegation of eight other people but will not support the athletes with government money to go. Say it ain’t so minister.
The following statements were issued by Picewell Forbes, Shadow Minister of Sports:
Opposition spokesman on sports
On government’s lack of support for our athletes
For Immediate Release
18 September 2019
The PLP is alarmed at the contents of a video note by Drumeco Archer on the Government’s failure to adequately support the planned World Championship team. The decision to renege on its financial commitment to the BAAA to facilitate our participation in the upcoming IAAF Track and Field Championships in Doha, Qatar is unacceptable, given the immeasurable benefits The Bahamas has and continue to enjoy from our athletes’ talents and international representation.
The BAAA complains that the Governments offer is woefully inadequate. It sends a negative message and sets the wrong tone on the government’s commitment, or lack thereof, to youth and sports development generally.
This is a sad state of affairs.
It appears that the Minister of Sports is unwilling or unable to represent the sporting community’s interests. The stakeholders complain that she does not seem to have the social and community building skills which the job requires.
In all of this, the government comes across as selfish, uncaring, mean spirited and insensitive.
This FNM government cancelled important sports programs like the IAAF World Relays. The possible fallout from this cancellation, including a hit to our brand as a global sports power, has serious and negative implications for local sports development.
The BAAA reports
that the inadequate funding has resulted in team members being out of pocket substantial sums of money because they used personal funds to assist in defraying the travel costs of our national team. This is shameful and not right.
When one considers the level of volunteerism at the BAAA, the insensitivity of the government leaves many feelings abandoned and disrespected.
Further, the government continues to war with and eschew the sports federations and when available, their policy responses are delivered in generalities. It is this lack of leadership and vision that has local sports in such a sad state.
I single out the consistent and stellar performances of both Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Stephen Gardiner. The national pride they have filled us with, and the positive international exposure enjoyed by this country are immeasurable and invaluable.
I urge the government to see the broader picture and to change course in its relationship with and attitude toward the local sporting community to one of collaboration with a shared vision, shared values and shared sacrifice.
A good place to start is for the government to reverse its decision on this subvention, take the lead and ensure that team Bahamas fully participates in the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships.
Our athletes have consistently represented this country well and it is now time for the state to show their full support for our athletes.
For Immediate Release
19 September 2019
In the wake of its lack of support for our athletes, I was not surprised but very disappointed to be advised that the Government could find the money to send a ten person delegation to Doha, Qatar – including the Minister and her spouse – to watch the 2019 IAAF Track and Field Championships. The Government must say whether this is true or false. If it is true, that is disgraceful.
According to BAAA President Drumeco Archer, the government could only assist with $25,000 of the required $116,000 to send an eighteen-member team to Doha.
I say again that in all of this the government comes across as selfish, mean spirited, self serving and disconnected.
The PLP demands that the government finds the money to send our track and field team to Doha, even if it means cancelling the travel plans of the government’s delegation, including the sports Minister and her spouse. The games are about the athletes.