SVGOC must take a fresh guard
On Target
November 19, 2021
SVGOC must take a fresh guard

THE NEW EXECUTIVE of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee (SVGOC) will from the get go, put the administrative wheels in motion, as they prepare to chart the direction of the umbrella body for the Olympic disciplines here.

Leading the pathway of the SVGOC will be the four males and three females, who were given the mandate to serve, last Friday night at a Special General Meeting, held at the Hotel Alexandrina Hotel.

As such, Stephen Joachim – president, Trevor Bailey – vice president, Keith Joseph – secretary general; Geshell Peters – assistant secretary general/ treasurer, Jacintha Ballantyne – treasurer, along with Kevin Hannaway and La Prise Williams as trustees, were installed as the executive for the next four years.

Critically though, the men and women have to review the operations, the governance structures, transparency, greater accountability with its affiliate members, as well as the public relations of the organisation.

These were some of the concerns which have been expressed over the years. These were even borne out by the narratives of Joachim, Wayne Williams and Vanburn Harry, as the three vied for the opportunity to lead the SVGOC for the next quadrennial.

The trio, in their respective campaigns, shared the same pulpit, preaching the same sermon, that of accountability, transparency and equity.

And, no better could have been the messengers, as they have all served on the organisation, hence would have been preview to some of the internal doings.

Such revelations are instructive, as even from within the administrative set-up, personnel are questioning, have misgivings, and are calling for change.

The task therefore for Joachim is to effect the changes that he had proposed in the lead up to his eventual election.

In his wooing of the affiliates, Joachim promised that if elected, he will produce regular financial statements to the General Council and the Executive Council; improve reporting on all SVGOC spending and report on all trips taken by executive on SVGOC business.

In addition, Joachim proposed to improve communication with affiliates and look into improving the SVGOC’s administrative support to all national federations.

As part of his planned relook at the SVGOC’s governance, Joachim also proposed to host semi-annual meetings of the general council and hold the Annual General Meeting of the SVGOC, when it is constitutionally due.

Indeed, these are direct responses to the observations, having had first-hand experience as president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Swimming Federation for the past eight years.

The onus is on Joachim, as the leader of the SVGOC, to immediately make his imprint and have his proposals implemented in the shortest possible time frame.

But there are some reservations in some quarters, that it is a case of pouring new wine in an old bottle. The analogy comes as save and except for Peters,

Hannaway and Williams, the others, inclusive of Joachim, have been there, done that already.

Be that as it may, it surely cannot be business as usual in terms of the manner in which the organisation is managed, the flow of pertinent information to affiliates and other changes necessary to operate in the modern era of sports administration.

In keeping with the times, the SVGOC has not up its game as it relates to technological advancements and the likes. It appears from the outside, there are still some archaic ways of doing things, as were unearthed at last Friday’s meeting.

Getting the SVGOC’s house in shape, as was the consensus by most affiliates, should be the first order of business for the new executive.

This should be achievable in quick time, as there is no shortage of administrative acumen and collective experience lodged among the seven persons who are allocated the various portfolios.

Apart from their positions on the executive, these members have their professional character, image and integrity to protect, which can only augur well for the forward movement of the SVGOC.

Of significance too, the executive of the SVGOC must be above board, provide that administrative template for affiliates to use as their blueprint.

Therefore, the SVGOC’s executive has to possess moral authority to guide, offer leadership and if needed, chide or reprimand its affiliates if the rare occasion arises.

In all of the prospects and anticipation of a new dispensation, the affiliates themselves have to step up to the plate. They have to become less passive, and not simply be recipients of funding and basically remain a herd of voting cattle, only activated when needs be in the four-year cycle.

Affiliates must be the vanguards, the drones, the watchdogs over the stewardship of the seven elected members of the SVGOC.

You will be equally culpable for any shortcomings of the executive if you stand idle and not put in your two cents, make demands of disclosures, institute the various checks and balances and generally get interested in the day to day affairs of the SVGOC.

At this juncture, the SVGOC has to take a fresh guard, and not remain as a run of the mill organisation, but through your affiliates endeavour to develop the Olympic disciplines here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.