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Sports administrator questions imposition of user fees at playing facilities

Sports administrator questions imposition of user fees at playing facilities


Stephen Joachim, one of the co-hosts on last Friday’s OMG, aired by BOOM FM, a local radio station here, has expressed his opposition to the imposition of user fees for playing facilities under the care of the National Sports Council (NSC).

Joachim indicated that he was informed that one association was already moving to request $3 and $5 of its member-athletes,{{more}}whenever that association stages meets at one of the NSC facilities.

“We pay our taxes … We have an entity called the National Sports Council; they are responsible for looking after the fields; they have now decided and I assume they have decided this because they are not getting enough money from government or wherever…. They have decided they are going to charge these associations to use the fields,” Joachim said.

Extending his concerns, Joachim added: “What are we doing now, we are now trying to discourage people from being active and participate in sports …. We are discouraging our poor people… They have to come up with $5 to go and run track, to compete in a track meet … To use a government owned facility.

“Did the National Sports Council make this decision unilaterally …. Was the Minister of Sports involved in this decision … Did the Prime Minister know about this?” Joachim inquired.

Joachim noted that on learning of the user fees, he personally wrote to the manager of the National Sports Council (Jomadean May) via email last Wednesday and requested May to forward his (Joachim’s) concerns to Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Cecil Mc Kie.

Joachim revealed that among the issues, he questioned whether the imposition of the fees was a new policy and if the user fees had been discussed with sporting associations.

“How much are you charging cricket… How much are you charging football … How much are you charging basketball,” he asked.

Joachim argued that the National Lotteries Authority is charged with developing sports and culture in St Vincent and the Grenadines, hence, that entity should be supporting the NSC.

Joachim is a former chair of the National Lotteries Authority and is the current president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Swimming Federation.(RT)