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What wrong has Mr. Hillocks done?

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16.MAY.08

EDITOR: I take this opportunity to congratulate and commend the Department of Sports for the excellent job it has been doing. The leadership and staff of the department are making a real difference to physical education in SVG and deserve the highest praise.{{more}}

Editor, I am impressed with a number of the initiatives of this department. For example, the standardized ‘warm up’ introduced some time in 2006 is a positive and healthy move. Teachers, students and other nationals benefited from professionally managed sessions which reduced the risk associated with unprofessional and risky warm-ups.

The department’s programme for the elderly at Black Point and Cane Grove is not only timely but visionary. Too often most of us condemn our older citizens and render them useless. This exercise programme not only pays attention to the health of these senior citizens, but importantly, it says to these citizens that you are remembered by our leaders in sports. Also it reduces loneliness and stress which threatens the health and life of our senior citizens.

Editor, the sport department was ahead of government in launching its ‘wellness’ programme a few years ago. Again this speaks to the vision of its leadership and staff. Not only has the department launched its wellness programme but it runs programmes for public servants in Kingstown as well as several programmes in rural SVG, including programmes in Green Hill, Dauphine, Lauders, Sandy Bay and other areas.

Madam, I am impressed with the department’s effort to conduct seasonal training in all sports throughout SVG. It is also very refreshing to see the Director of Physical Education and Sports leading his team even on public holidays. This is an indication of the quality of leadership and talents in the department.

Editor, while the Director and his team are making good progress and are visible nationally, there are those who wish to see Hillocks out for reasons unrelated to sports and physical education.

Sir, I read with interest Brenton Weekes’ piece captioned ‘Sports Department in State of Chaos’ in two newspapers in which he alleged that disrespect shown to the hierarchy of the civil service (by DPES Leaders) has inflicted irreparable wounds. Mr. Weekes also suggested that school sporting competitions have been severely affected by these ‘wounds’. Weekes also suggested that persons who were once managing children cannot manage adults.

Mr. Weekes is obviously correct about the wounds and the disrespect but he got it totally wrong as to who inflicted and continues to inflict them. Surely, it wasn’t the Director of Sports Nelson Hillocks who unceremoniously dumped all officers managing sport from the MOE a few years ago.

It was not Nelson Hillocks who recalled the other two officers and left Mr. Hillocks out of the department. It wasn’t Hillocks who cancelled all school sports that year just to throw out an individual who the owners of Education didn’t want! It was not Hillocks who didn’t have the common courtesy to inform sponsors that there will be no competition! Nor was it Mr. Hillocks who recommended that the Director of Physical Education and Sports post be upgraded to Grade 11 but no sooner when they did not get their pick, ask for it to be put back to Grade 8/9! Was it Nelson Hillocks who down-graded the Director of Physical Education and Sports post from Grade 11 to Grade 8 in the 2007/2008 Re-class/clique? Editor, I do agree that there has been a lot of contempt and disrespect, but the Director of Physical Education & Sports has been the recipient. Yet, like the true professional he and his team have being working tirelessly, putting SVG first.

My view is that the Department of Physical Education and Sport is doing an excellent job! Senior officers are seen working even on public holidays with their leader. They have initiated programmes to make this nation healthier. They have shown heart for our elderly and all other nationals. I have heard the former Minister of Sport and Youth heaping high praise on his Director of Physical Education and Sports.

I have heard many principals and teachers commending him highly for his and his department’s efforts and visibility.

What are Nelson’s sins? Has he not worshipped the golden images? Was he born and raised in the wrong community? I have no problem if Mr. Weekes/weak differs. However, he must state his real reasons for so doing.

Otto Sam

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