MP knocks 'deafening silence' on Elite Programme funding
Sport Minister Darryl Smith has come under fire for his ‘deafening silence’ over a reported lack of funding for the Elite Athlete’s programme.
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath is calling on the Minister to address the concerns raised by several athletes including Olympic Medalist, Richard Thompson, as he congratulated the affected athletes for speaking out.
Padarath said the Minister should be at the center of the dispute resolution process rather than shirking his responsibility.
The MP noted that several commentators in the sport industry have aired their dissatisfaction over how the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is being managed.
He added that the continuous tumultuous exchange between athletes and Ministry personnel suggest that strategies to resolve the matter be immediately revised by the Minister.
Padarath called on the Minister to provide leadership at a time of crisis, when several elite athletes have not been provided with funding since 2015.
He said the Minister has been quick to take credit for the performance of several elite athletes, however, the same athletes have publicly disassociated the Minister and the Ministry from their successes. Smith was further accused of victimising elite athletes.
Padarath indicated that the email exchanges between Ministry personnel and athletes demonstrated that the Ministry and the Minister is not on top of the issues and further that the Ministry’s contempt for the elite athletes need to be dealt with internally by none other than the Minister of Sport.
The Princes Town MP said that for the past two and a half years the Ministry and the Minister has not settled down and gotten to work, adding that Ministry personnel were reflecting the style of the Minister and the government, which he described as ”arrogance and conceitedness”.
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