A change has been made in the hierarchy of the National Sports Authority (NSA). Former national squash champion and general sports enthusiast Lester Cox has been positioned by the Government of The Bahamas to manage the day-to-day affairs of the main entity responsible for national sporting facilities and equipment.
From his base of operation at the NSA Head Office in the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium complex, Cox is, I believe, the ideal replacement in one of the key national sports areas.
I expect that he will revolutionize the various relationships between the NSA and all sporting organizations, namely quasi-government bodies, the Bahamas Olympic Committee, independent sports federations, private sports organizations, and recreational clubs and franchises.
At the outset he has been quite refreshing. Cox and I spoke initially about his new undertaking during the recent CARIFTA Games and several times subsequently. He is pleasantly engaging and not territorial at all. It looks like he will indeed be very approachable.
“Look, I want to work with folks to make a difference for sports development, however within reason, the NSA can function. I often wonder why the first response generally from many people is “No” when there is always the opportunity to have dialogue, reflect and deliberate,” said Cox.
By my observation, it’s not that Cox is taking his role too casually, but it seems he has an all-encompassing attitude. Thus far, he is a breath of fresh air. I point out with emphasis, that from the beginning, when the NSA was established through legislation, the relationship with the national sporting fraternity has been rocky at best.
In the past, sports leaders have been frustrated constantly, and some simply opted not to have a relationship with the NSA management. At times, I was informed, even the sports minister and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture had icy encounters with the NSA management.
No doubt, the rope finally played out somehow and a decision was made to make a change in the NSA.
Now, Cox will be expected to fashion the NSA into what was intended by the political directorate. The NSA is mandated to make ready, manage and control government sporting facilities across the nation.
It is a broad portfolio and in a few instances, diplomacy is of the utmost necessity, when interacting with the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Education, because there are the overlapping circumstances regarding government-owned sports venues.
The Minister of Sports, as laid out in the National Sports Authority Act is technicality the overall boss. It is he/she who has the legal authority to step in and investigate whenever necessary and to indeed monitor the NSA. It has seemed at times that there was a misunderstanding or an arrogant outlook regarding the power of the Minister of Sports, as it relates to the NSA.
Cox would be minded to get a full understanding of the National Sports Authority Act so that he could have clarity as to the jurisdiction of the Minister of Sports.
I must say though, that he has started well. Thus, I believe the Minister of Sports and all and sundry will have an easier time dealing with Cox.
I extend best wishes to him.
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