NAAA responds to Minister
‘We sought to arrange a meeting’
The National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) has responded to Minister of Sport Anil Roberts.
In a press release, yesterday, titled “Request for meeting with Minister of Sport”, the local governing body for track and field explained that it had “sought to arrange a meeting with the Minister to share information” on the Semoy Hackett issue.
“Notwithstanding that the matter pertaining to Semoy Hackett is currently before the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) and is still to be arbitrated upon, the Association sought to arrange a meeting with the Minister to share information on the issue.
“The following provides a timeline of communication between the Association and the office of the Minister of Sport over the last week:
- Friday 23rd August – Letter requesting a meeting with the Minister of Sport prepared
- Monday 26th August – Letter delivered to Ministry of Sport by courier.
- Thursday 29th August – Letter dated Sunday 25th August, signed on behalf of the Permanent Secretary (Ag), Ministry of Sport, addressed to the President of the NAAA requesting “a report on the matter relative to Semoy Hackett” matter” received.
At 4.04 p.m., President of NAAA, Mr Ephraim Serrette contacted the Minister’s Secretary as follow-up to the letter requesting the meeting. The Minister’s Secretary indicated that she had no knowledge of the request but would inquire about it.
She later contacted the president at 5:50 p.m. and advised that the Minister had arranged a meeting for the next morning, Friday 30th August at 10:00 a.m.
Concerns were raised over the short notice, since NAAA’s team comprising approximately six (6) persons needed to be informed and given that the members are all otherwise employed, such an impromptu meeting would have been difficult.
Up to that time there was no acknowledgement of the initial letter sent to the Minister.
- Friday 30th August – The Minister’s Secretary was contacted at 8.26 a.m. to inform her of the challenges experienced in getting NAAA’s team together for the 10 a.m. meeting and requesting that the meeting be rescheduled.
“It was therefore quite a surprise to learn subsequently that the Minister and his team were disappointed by the non-appearance of the NAAA members and further that the Association was disrespectful.
“The work of the Association, like that of many other sporting organisations, is facilitated through volunteers many of whom are otherwise employed and, given the short notice, it was not possible to pull together a team. This reservation was conveyed at the very onset. While we regret the situation that arose, efforts were made both on Thursday and early on Friday to avoid such an outcome.
“Notwithstanding the frequent disparaging remarks made by the Minister about the Executive of the Association, we remain committed to the development of track & field in Trinidad and Tobago. In this regard, we are willing to meet, albeit with reasonable notice, to discuss any and all matters pertaining to the sport.”
The press release was issued by the NAAA secretariat.