Sport Minister to look at Ballantyne’s Omission
March 3, 2006

Sport Minister to look at Ballantyne’s Omission

Minister of Sports Glen Beache has announced that his ministry will be looking closely into why long distance runner Pamenos Ballantyne was not selected to be part of Team SVG’s delegation to the Commonwealth Games in Australia. {{more}}

Minister Beache made this announcement at the opening of the sitting of Parliament on Thursday February 23 while making congratulatory remarks to Ballantyne who was awarded Sports Personality of the Year.

Beache accused the selectors of Team SVG Athletics of playing politics by denying Ballantyne the opportunity to represent the country, and said that the reasons given why he could not attend were insubstantial.

The Sports Minister chided, “It was said that it was not advisable for anyone to compete in more than two marathons over a twelve month period as this would have a severe strain on their body…. Team atlethics said that they did not want to take the risk; if something happened to him, they will have to take all the blame.”

He continued, “Did Team Athletics advise Ballantyne on the maximum races he could participate in for the year? What were the criteria for participating in International marathons?”

Minister Beache said that the selection process “boiled down to pure politics” and that something needed to be done because such incidents were occurring too often.

He called on the entire board of Team SVG Athletics to take responsibility for their actions and said that “one man” should not be leading the organisation.

He emphasised, “Something has to be done, Mr. Speaker, I wish Pamenos all the best and I want him to know that the Ministry of Sports and Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines is behind him. We are so sorry that probably our best chance at getting gold will not be representing our country at this Commonwealth Games.”

When Searchlight contacted President of Team Athletics Keith Joseph, he refused to comment on the matter concerning the Minister’s statement on Ballantyne. Joseph however said that he was out of the country at the time and did not hear the allegations made by Minister Beache, and that it would be unfair to respond to the comments.

Joseph said if he were to respond, he would have to understand the context under which the allegations were made.

A 39-member delegation will be participating in the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Australia from March 15-26.