Voluntarism and national sports organisations (Part I)

The problem persists.

National sports associations do not appear to be interested in attracting professionals to sporting organisations because of fear of losing control over what they perceive to be their ‘turf’. The importance of opportunities to travel to regional and international engagements and the promise of improved status at home appear to be enough for those involved in the Olympic Movement to keep professionals at bay. The result appears to be the evolution of cliquism among the leadership of the various organisations such that it deliberately dissuades professionals from making their services available. There is a sort of ‘closing of the ranks’ designed to hinder others from becoming involved to any significant degree.
Some complain that Executive members behave as though the organisation is something akin to a secret lodge and that the affairs of the institution are not for public consumption.
There is also the failure of many national sports organisations to meet their own constitutional requirements of accountability through regular general meetings and presenting to their general membership, annual audited financial statements of their operations.
Volunteers steer clear of sports organisations perceived as being characterised by cliquism for fear that their own credibility may be tarnished. The public perception of several sports organisations as lacking openness and accountability, two critical components of good administration, wards off potential volunteers.
Many national sports organisations seem to shy away from having degreed persons in their midst. In several cases members of the Executive of national sports organisations have received any formal training in sports management.  Instead, they tend to emerge from their respective sport disciplines where they were once athletes or coaches. This has been the norm across the sports spectrum in St Vincent and the Grenadines even though the situation has improved in most organisations.
It should be noted that while possession of a degree is not, in and of itself, a guarantee of better management on the part of the person possessing it, it nonetheless reflects a certain academic proficiency that should augur well for any organisation to which such persons have committed themselves.