Sports
January 29, 2010
NSC Chairman slams SIF

Chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC) Carlton “Teddy” James has lambasted the operations of the Social Investment Fund (SIF) in relation to the construction of playing facilities here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

James, at the opening of the 2010 Marriaqua Co-operative Credit Union (MCCU), Marriaqua Sports Association Netball Competition (MSA) last Sunday afternoon at the Richland Park Government School Ground, lashed out at what he deemed SIF’s “inefficiency”.

In a frank presentation, James expressed his disappointment that the MSA did not have the use of the newly built Richland Park Hard Court, located at a place known as the “Oval’, to start its Netball competition.

The bone of contention is that the Netball/ Basketball facility, which should have finished some time last year, is yet to be completed to the satisfaction of both the MSA and the NSC.

“It is indeed a case of inefficiency and sloppy work accepted by SIF,” James said, as he addressed those present.

The 2010 Netball Competition was originally set for opening January 17, at the new facility, but organisers had to revert to the school grounds after the Oval venue proved to have an uneven surface.

This was after the ordered restorative work on the surface had been completed and accepted as playable by SIF.

The project was conceptualised by the MSA and the NSC, with the SIF providing the necessary funding.

“It is indeed an embarrassment and I await the challenges,” the NSC Chairman remarked.

“It is time for stocktaking,” was James’ advice.

Contending that the situation is untenable, James said boldly: “I would stop short of saying that the tail is wagging the dog.”

He reassured the members of the MSA that in his capacity as Chairman of the NSC and as a constituent of Marriaqua, he would endeavour to see the project through soonest, and that the eight participating teams will get an opportunity to have some matches there before the Netball competition concludes.

When asked to expand on his remarks to SEARCHLIGHT, James again pointed to the workings of SIF.

“They (SIF) are the ones who gave out the contract and made the payments,” James said.

“It is not a case of the contractors, but SIF accepting substandard work,” he continued.

The NSC Chairman also disclosed that he personally expressed his dissatisfaction about the project to SIF’s CEO Bentley Browne.

James stated that a senior member of SIF’s staff, Calvert “Booty” Ferdinand, had given his organisation’s approval of the facility as ready for competition.

“They (SIF) accepted it and said it was acceptable,” James said.

An obviously peeved James further told SEARCHLIGHT: “I will not rule out sabotage.”

“It is not the first time this is happening,” the NSC Chairman confirmed as he made mention of other playing facilities done by SIF, which were in poor condition.

However, all will be well that ends well, as James revealed that the National Lotteries Authority has agreed to lend some assistance to the repair work needed at the hard court.

Lyn Marie Nichols, President (Acting) of the MSA, Woodrow “Killy” Williams who deputised for the Director of Sports and Physical Education, and Isaac Haywood, Chairman of MCCU, also spoke at the Opening Ceremony.

Apart from the hard court, SIF is funding the re-grassing of the Cane End Playing Field and the grassing and retaining wall at Richland Park Playing Field.

The former also is riddled with deficiencies, including poor choice of grass, an uneven surface and improper drainage.