Re­al­ity check for ad­min­is­tra­tors

Jamaica Gleaner - - TUESDAY SPORTS -

THE AD­MIN­IS­TRA­TORS of sports in Ja­maica seem to have a prob­lem with any mem­ber of their or­gan­i­sa­tion speak­ing out about any per­ceived prob­lem. When­ever there is a re­port of a ‘prob­lem’ the ad­min­is­tra­tors com­plain bit­terly about “a process” whereby com­plaints can be re­solved in­ter­nally. They are eerily silent when it is re­vealed that the ‘prob­lem’ had been pre­vi­ously dis­cussed ad nau­seam in­ter­nally, with­out any tan­gi­ble move be­ing made to re­solve the prob­lem.

So, frus­trated, an in­ter­view is given, a doc­u­ment leaked, and then who­lescale wring­ing of the hands, as the of­fend­ing in­di­vid­ual is dis­ci­plined/sanc­tioned. Oh dear! What can the mat­ter be? The an­swer seems to lie in the sense of en­ti­tle­ment that comes with the el­e­va­tion of these men and women to po­si­tions of power. Ev­ery ac­cep­tance speech by an ad­min­is­tra­tor who has sought the po­si­tion, and won, speaks glibly about ‘com­mu­ni­ca­tion’ with play­ers, of­fi­cials, and fans. Yet, when­ever ‘prob­lems’ sur­face, the frus­trated com­plainer, be­ing hu­man, fails to fol­low point by point ‘the process’ and out he/she goes, while the ‘prob­lem’ re­mains and fes­ters.

Win­ning in any sport tends to al­low ‘prob­lems’ to be ig­nored or pa­pered over, but when the team be­gins los­ing over and over again, and the fin­gers of the fans be­gin point­ing, search­ing for the per­son(s) re­spon­si­ble for the poor run of re­sults, this is where our ad­min­is­tra­tors hun­ker down, drop­ping play­ers, fir­ing coaches, dar­ing any mem­ber of the los­ing team to go pub­lic. What­ever happened to the ad­min­is­tra­tor who spoke at his/her in­au­gu­ra­tion? Power – power that has un­masked a char­ac­ter flaw which is much too painful to ad­mit. I do be­lieve that the four most pop­u­lar sports in Ja­maica are Horse rac­ing, foot­ball, track and field and net­ball. We lead the world in track and field not be­cause we have good ad­min­is­tra­tors, but be­cause we have world-class ath­letes. I fear the post-Bolt era of track and field be­cause that is when the ‘prob­lems’ can­not be pa­pered over or ig­nored, and if not cor­rected, no longer will be com­fort­able with the moniker ‘sprint cap­i­tal’ of the world. In foot­ball, per­sis­tent and fi­nan­cially em­bar­rass­ing losses have caused the leader of our na­tion’s foot­ball to fi­nally come to the re­al­i­sa­tion that the future of lo­cal foot­ball lies in the de­vel­op­ment of LO­CAL tal­ent.

RE­LENT­LESS FALL DOWN

In net­ball, a re­lent­less fall down the world rank­ing has fi­nally caused the ad­min­is­tra­tor of that sport to look in the di­rec­tion of LO­CAL coaches to guide our world-class tal­ent to the pin­na­cle of world net­ball. Hope­fully, soon, gen­der bias will also go the way of de­pen­dency on for­eign coaches, bring­ing the re­sults that the fans crave. In cricket, the Trump-like thin-skinned qual­i­ties of the lead­er­ship – who in­sist on for­eign lead­er­ship that is ob­vi­ously alien­at­ing any player whose self-be­lief made him a world-rated player – is not help­ing the team. Tony Becca, in his col­umn on Sun­day, pointed out the dual roles of Pres­i­dent Dave Cameron and tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor of cricket Richard Py­bus. Tony is so right when he ar­tic­u­lates a ques­tion that has been dog­ging West In­dian fans as star af­ter star is ush­ered from rep­re­sent­ing us, the peo­ple of the re­gion.

“How can a non-West In­dian stop a West In­dian player from rep­re­sent­ing the West In­dies, re­gard­less of the cir­cum­stances.” Maybe that ques­tion is what led Mr Cameron to agree to do that in­ter­view on Sport­sMax, falsely hop­ing to give the im­pres­sion that there is some West In­dian in­put into what is go­ing on with our stars. I do hope that the re­fusal of Ja­maican James Adams to re­new his English coach­ing con­tract means that he is con­sid­er­ing com­ing back home to res­cue West In­dian cricket. What a won­der­ful di­rec­tor of West In­dian cricket he would be!

BUR­RELL

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