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Sports authority faces credibility challenge

Sports Scope
  • The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

FRED STURRUP

Published: Aug 02, 2013

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The infield at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium has been groomed, finally. The National Sports Authority (NSA) , under the leadership of Leroy Archer Jr., got to the task and now the infield is not the eyesore it had become and remained thus, for a rather lengthy period.

It was an ugly thing to see the overgrowth of the Bermuda-type grass and the mixture of weed. The neglect gave the stadium a kind of shabbiness that is out of line with the great degree of pride Bahamians feel for the edifice. It is good that the infield has been attended to. How damaging, however, is it to allow the overgrowth and the population of weed? Weed blossoms and spreads rapidly. Continuity of neglect would surely mean that when the time comes for another International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) sanctioned event, the infield would have to be re-done once again.

It’s truly amazing just how often the taxpayers are taken for granted. Salaried individuals fail to do their jobs and the taxpayers are saddled with the additional costs. The sports authority folks are under the microscope these days. They are being observed closely. One has to wonder just what it is that is done at the lavish office of the sports authority at the national stadium.

Recently in this space, I wrote about the fact that the sports authority has not been able to connect very well with the sporting federations. This particular situation became very evident when the sports authority first made known its usage fees to federations. The general view was that the fees were not in line with the gate returns federations get when they stage events. Many concluded that the sports authority was out of touch with the reality of the Bahamian sporting landscape. So, the sports authority has not been a convincing or believable entity, to many.

Therefore there is this great lack of trust. The circumstances beg a question. Is the National Sports Authority relevant? Is the way the National Sports Authority is structured, appropriate for the sports agenda today in The Bahamas?

There are a lot of questions being asked now about Archer and company and the manner in which they are functioning. The sports authority has used up a good deal of national funding at a time of great economic decline. It is my understanding that Archer and company now are clamoring for more money, a large number. It is definitely a credibility challenge that he and his associates face.

Are their hands tied? Are they not being fortified properly to do the job at hand? For credibility sake they might wish to clear the air relating to the many questions. If not, it will begin to look, more and more, that they don’t have the capacity, the competence for the important job they agreed to take on.

(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com)

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