Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mixed views of Roberts’ exit

Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB) Douglas Camacho called Minister of Sport Anil Roberts’ resignation a sad day.

Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board of Control special adviser Boxu Potts said he warned Roberts to pay closer attention to his Ministry of Sport staff and Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) president Rowena Williams hoped national sporting organisations (NSOs) will not be prevented from continuing the progress they have made to date.

Camacho, involved in a few public spats with Roberts concerning funding of national hockey teams over the last 12 months, said : “ It’s a  sad day that it should reach to this... 

“So many NSOs have found it difficult to access the funds that were committed to their organisations to carry out all of their programmes and initiatives. So it’s a sad day. It (Roberts’ resignation) was long overdue and I think the TTHB and the other NSOs  are hoping for a Minister in the future that will work with them and not be  acrimonious. So I hope this will be a  turning of the tide,” Camacho, a former Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president said.

TTBBC special adviser Boxu Potts said he had warned Roberts about proper scrutiny of his staff.

“I warned him that he must pay close attention to the Ministry staff....I said it before and said it again that the Minister had put too much confidence in the PS,” he said.

Potts, who wrote auditor general Sharman Ottley requesting an investigation into the missing allocation of over $4 million to the TTBBC for the 2012-2013 financial period, said that once a fair system exists at the Ministry, he expects boxing to keep progressing.

“I have confidence as long as there is fairplay at the Ministry of Sport,  whoever comes  there,  boxing will go forward. We don’t need any favours.  I have the skill to move boxing forward as long as the programmes and initiatives are allowed to run,   they are  bound to yield  success,” Potts said, adding that the TTBC took credit and is still owing for  boxing programmes and efforts to send two boxers to the Commonwealth Games.

He boasted of the success of Michael Alexander, who earned a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, despite adequate support from the Ministry of Sport.

Meanwhile Williams hoped, “that this (Roberts’ resignation)  doesn’t delay progress for the sporting fraternity.”

“We have a lot of plans and hope that nothing prevents the sport from moving on.  We are not sure of what  changes are going to take place,  but hopefully it is a smooth transition,” she said, adding that she was unsure if all funding would cease until proper audits are conducted.

“We don’t know but that is our main concern,” Williams concluded.

The Saturday Express contacted Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath, National Association of Athletic Administrators (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette and Trinidad and Tobago Amteur Boxing Association Cecil Forde who all declined comment.