Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe yesterday described as “rude” moves by National Governing Bodies (NGBs) which have been refusing to submit on time their financials, budgets and schedules for athletes to be processed by the ministry for regional qualifiers and international games.
Cudjoe raised the issue during her contribution to the budget debate in Parliament yesterday.
In rolling out the ministry’s 2019 sporting plans, projects and policies, Minister Cudjoe proudly boasted that the People’s National Movement (PNM) Government had distributed over $5.2 million to athletes for their crowning accomplishments in the sporting arena.
“It is very important for me to place on the record and to remind NGBs (National Governing Bodies) that it is critical that they comply with the rules and guidelines of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, as it relates to submitting their financial, their schedules, their calendar of events and so on, so that these applications could be processed and we could really facilitate this initiative of providing them with the necessary support to attend these regional qualifiers and international games.”
She said it was unfortunate that a number of NGBs over the years have adopted a practice of submitting their necessary documentation days before they travel to receive funding, expecting the ministry to come up with the money and place it in their hands.
Cudjoe said she observed all kinds of "tactics" on Facebook videos, parents writing letters to media release being issued when funding was not given on time, stating that such a practice was unacceptable
“It must be stopped. It is unfair. It is unethical. It is selfish and I want to also say Madame Speaker… it is rude.”
The minister explained that when a sporting entity comes in the middle of the fiscal year, the ministry has to make a decision to put on the back burner an entity that would have submitted its paper works since the beginning of the fiscal year for which they would have already budgeted.
“So when you wait two weeks before the time to travel to now submit a document and then cry in the media… it puts us in a very unfortunate position. I want to remind NBGs to submit their documents on time.”
Last month the Ministry of Sports was called upon at the last minute to fund the national women's volleyball team participation to the FIVB World Championship which concluded in Japan last week and the senior women's football team which is currently engaged in the CONCACAG Qualifies for the 2019 FIFA Wold Cup in France.
Cudjoe said in the month of August the ministry together with SporTT wrote to over 50 NBGs asking them to submit their documents and budgets in a timely fashion, but unfortunately “under ten NBGs would have responded.”