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What’s up with NAAA elections
According to the Georgian calendar, November is the eleventh month of the year. The early Roman calendar called it the eleventh month for Tiberius Caesar. November comes between the fall and winter months. The leaves are almost completely gone from the trees, and the rest have lost most of their colour. The Anglo-Saxons referred to November as the “wind month” and the “blood month.” Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11. The NAAA is on notice! Lots of activities come to a halt in November. The crops have been harvested and either put in storage, or sent to processing plants or mills. NAAA election day is on the last Saturday in November. Who are the players, the co-conspirators, the bold and the brave to challenge the status quo? November is symbolic of lights. The farmers already know if their year has been successful or not. Track and field governance is the main sport of the month. The political slates are in lobbying mode. The stage is set and beautifully poised for this kind of sport rhetoric. The integrity of the NAAA is in question. They have yet to understand their role in T&T athletics. There are too many unanswered questions of socially conflicting interest. They have not done anything that justifies a union acting on behalf of the T&F community.
The clubs and powers that be in the court of public opinion should have conversations to discuss some kind of proposal for visible improvement of the conduct and running of the organisation.
The media seems not interested in dealing with “sensitive issues” of the organisation. This could lead to submissions that they are not acting as fiduciary custodians of the public trust. The NAAA as a body has been misleading the athletes and the community. The clubs do not have a moral conscience. Therefore, it now becomes a matter of public interest if not public justice to question and hold the NAAA responsible or accountable for the proper conduct of the activities of the organisation. The public is on a “let’s wait and see what happens.” This is not the best practice. The drug allegations are in limbo. Who are the people responsible? Are there any follow-up actions? The nation deserves an answer. They would like a resolution of these issues.
There is an engaging theme for argumentation. Who is the leader of the NAAA? Rooted in the dysfunctional aspect of track and field in T&T is the club administration which in many cases is non-functional. There is a lack of structure. Most clubs are run by their coaches who align themselves with the executives of the NAAA to win votes to go on tours. The few serious-minded club delegates with brilliant enterprising ideas for the improvement of track and field soon reach the plateau stage of frustration.
Their motions are usually out voted by self-seekers whose motivation is governed by their ceremonial interest of going on trips. Meetings are called at inconvenient times (4.30 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva). After an hour, if there is no quorum, which is very likely, the next meeting is called in accordance with the constitution seven (7) days after the proposed meeting. Those who attend that meeting would then form the quorum. The power hunters (mainly the executive) and the poachers (basically trip seekers) would then pass whatever motions they are guided to pass through massive pre-meeting lobbying. The dates and times for general council meetings are convenient to retirees, the unemployed and those who have egotistical objectives in view. The NAAA has over five hundred registered members within 56 clubs. Yet there wasn’t any single finance-raising venture in the association. Clubs are conveniently sent memos at the whims and fancy of the executives. Decisions passed at these meeting are usually acted upon rather than going to the general council for ratification.
The nucleus of the coaches at the world international encounters remains the same. Whether it’s the Olympic Games, the World Games, the Commonwealth Games, the CAC, or the Pan American Games Certain names are submitted to no avail. The general council has no evidence of received coaches reports from games attended. The executive’s response says the managers’ report is adequate. The annual report is half of a page long. This is after attending eight meets abroad and 32 at home. No technical reports from the coaches are submitted so that clubs could benefit from such reports. Hence, we repeat the same mistakes over and over. There has been a problem with baton- passing in our relays. Yet, the technical committee doesn’t see it fit to introduce a national plan for relays. There are some clubs without the NAAA constitution. There must be a structure in place for the NAAA to function properly. The structure must be precast by clubs, the general council, the executive body and leaders interested in the development of track and field. Structure and the system are critical elements that must be addressed. Athletes do not make themselves, they are products of the system. The degree of success achieved by them is directly proportionate to the effectiveness of the system.
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