Sports challenges for 2007

Funding for Sports
National sporting organisations are truly at their wits end trying to decipher precisely who is responsible for funding sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
When the NOC approached Government for funding to assist the national representative team to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, it was informed in writing that funds available were already committed to the Cricket World Cup preparations. Later on, one of the components of the same team, netball, was funded to the tune of $40,000.00. This was apparently in fulfillment of a commitment to netball made by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on the occasion of the team having qualified for the Commonwealth Games for the first time. The episode proved an embarrassment to the NOC, the body responsible for the national representative team to the Commonwealth Games.
It should be noted that netball is not to be faulted in any way for seeking its own source of funding for its participation in the Games. The point being made here is that there is a level of inconsistency in this country in respect of the precise mechanism in place for the funding of sports development.
In a recent Seminar organised by the NOC in tandem with the Division of Sports in September 2006, the NSC Manager, Osborne Browne, delivered a presentation on the Protocol governing the funding of sporting organisations in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
In the first instance it should be stated here that the document did not address funding from the Government directly. It spoke to the way national sports associations and just about anybody involved in sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines should submit their requests for funding to the NSC and through that body to the National Lotteries Authority, NLA.
However it seems essential that the NSC should collect all of the financial requests from the various national sports associations, evaluate them in the context of their respective developmental plans and needs and of the overall available funds before determining what is sent to the NLA for funding.
The national sports associations ought not to be required to check with the NLA to find out what level of funding has been approved. This is not a responsibility of the association.