First year performance exposed Pintard’s weak points in sports

MICHAEL PINTARD, MP Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture

The collective Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture structure is quite demanding. I have long advocated for the political powers that be, to separate them. Certainly the Bahamian sports commodity has become such a big wide body of significance, there ought to be an individual Ministry of Sports.

This tripartite portfolio was handed to Michael Pintard. While the jury is still out on how he did as the government’s point person for youth and culture national matters, there was enough evidence to be examined, for a sports judgment, a report card grade.

Clearly, in sports, Pintard’s weak points were exposed. He appeared to have a shallow understanding of the national sports terrain. Pintard never showed, in my view, the ability to properly assess the sports scene and make progressive decisions. In a lot of ways, he actually seemed lost.

While I give him high points for desire and a hands-on perspective, he just did not come off as someone who could command the full ‘sports’ respect of those he had to interact with, or give directive to, as a result of being the Minister of Sports. Indeed, the first year at the helm of the sports ministry seemed to be virtually a feeling-his-way process.

Subsequently, the sports areas of his national purview, looked to just be slowly moving along and in some instances, stalled. Frankly, I felt he was in over his head, largely because of the circumstances he faced. As a sports minister he did not seem to get the kind of support those in his position got in the past.
In his defense, also, funding clearly was limited as the Free National Movement Government took a decision to cut back. Nevertheless, a sports minister steeped in the knowledge of what ought to take place, would have been more aggressive in Cabinet, and as was the case with his predecessors, would have found a way to get funds in order to allow the Bahamas Sports Brand to maintain the prime pace inherited.

That’s my take on the situation and the minister might feel the need to give proof to the contrary, but there certainly appeared to be at limbo situation associated with areas he had responsibility for.

Some criticisms of Pintard in his capacity as sports minister were scathing and, I think disrespectful, especially because of the language used. That particular situation begs a question though.

Why does he have a poor relationship with some sports leaders?

I point out a few.

The sports ministry with Pintard as the minister, failed in a whole year, to any appreciable degree, to address the complex in Moore’s Island, which he met well along, moving towards completion.

Other government sporting facilities throughout the country, especially in other Family Islands were neglected. The track at field venue at the Patrick Bethel High in Abaco is a case in point.

Then, a great indictment was Pintard not being able to drive forward the National Sports Academy project. Perhaps more than any of his other frailties, Pintard’s inability to get the National Sports Academy program moving significantly beyond the stage he met it at, illustrated a high level of inefficiency.
I present the cold facts. That’s all.

In our national system, D is a passing grade. Pintard’s performance as the national sports minister during the first year of the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis led Free National Movement governance was no better than a C-.

Base on what I observed, Pintard as the sports minister, appeared somewhat out of his league from May 10-2017 to May 10-2018. As aforementioned though, he has the strong desire and determination to be productive in his role as the Minister of Sports. With proper guidance, I suppose he could make a turnaround.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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