New Minister of Sports provided good opportunity to prove herself

In this file photo Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle speaks with reporters outside the Office of the Prime Minister.

The new Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Lanisha Rolle, was moved into the national sports picture, saddled with a not so-complimentary report card from her previous portfolio, the Ministry of Social Services & Urban Development.

As such, and with no sports knowledge background of note, her appointment was questioned widely.
Ironically though, she inherited a situation that left much to be desired and she has been provided an opportunity to prove her worth as a capable government minister. I have previously expressed the view that the Ministry of Sports languished over the past year. Nothing particularly meaningful was accomplished and the period became known more for important areas/projects that were not advanced or continued.

As an example, Minister Rolle met a National Sports Authority that was struggling, with an acting general manager battling to take it out of a near dysfunctional state. That the NSA was not, and still isn’t operating properly, is an understatement. Notably, the appointed chairman reportedly does not live in this country.
If this indeed can be verified, then one has to seriously wonder about the thinking of those/or the one, responsible for the appointment. The backdrop for such a situation is a lack of understanding, or small view of national sports.

How could a chairman who is not based in The Bahamas have a proper understanding of, or a good feel for what is going on in this country, regarding sports?

Also, it seems board members do not know the limit of their collective authority. The Act does not give the board the mandate to manage the NSA. Management personnel are hired or appointed.

The Minister of Sports is the higher boss of the NSA.

This is where Minister Rolle can emerge as someone befitting her posting.

She is actually in charge of the NSA and is thus challenged to step in and operate as the Act entitles her. It clearly indicates in the Act that in instances of conflicts and controversy the Minister of Sports has the authority to address the situations and make decisions that no one can rescind.

Indeed, Minister Lanisha Rolle has that kind of power, as it relates to all government sports entities. I speak of the NSA, the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) and the Bahamas Boxing Commission. The aforementioned bodies are the three quasi-government sports organizations that exist in this country.

Presently, there is mass confusion in the NSA. I understand that there is an attempt afoot to bring in a foreign individual to operate within the NSA. Hopefully that does not happen. In this country there are Bahamians qualified for any position in sports administration. In fact, there are those who either have served or are presently functioning in international sporting organizations.

There’s no doubt about it, Minister Rolle needs to take charge of the NSA.

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

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