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Sports article gives wrong impression


Fri, Jul 27. 2012

Editor: Firstly, let me on behalf of the SVG Basketball Federation congratulate the Bequia Basketball Association for staging the opening of its 14th Annual Bequia Basketball Tournament, which was held on Saturday, July 14th, 2012.{{more}}

On reporting on the opening, your newspaper carried a story captioned “Mitchell gets call to save national basketball set-up” by RT (Rohan Thomas). The structure of the article gives the impression that I as President agreed with a statement made by Mr. Nelson Hillocks, Director of Sports.

The facts are:

1. I was not present at the time when Mr. Hillocks made the misguided and unfortunate statement.

2. The statement is one of bureaucratic interference by a top level sport official in the affairs of a functionng and duly elected President and administration of a national federation and lacks ethics to the core.

3. The statement made by me in regard to a revamping of the Federation was in reference to our recently held national tournament after seven years, which allowed us to see the weaknesses and shortcomings within the system of federation, of which, from my vantage point, we are in need of a makeover. This was inserted to give false impression of my agreement to the previous statement of Mr Hillocks and has absolutely nothing to do with the administrators of the sport.

4. My comment as regards the under-16

category was a complimentary one of the Bequia Basketball Association, as we did not have that established division in the national make-up. Of further note is that the Federation had planned for an under-16 division in our national tournament but it did not materialize as only one combined school signed up. So, to swipe at my own Federation, as reported, would be unjust.

The story has thus caused the basketball fraternity to conclude that I was in some kind of agreement or collusion with Mr Hillocks in an effort to damage my administration, which is absolutely not the truth. It would be more appropriate for your journalist to report on a matter in its context and not to dissect to create an impression that fits his or her agenda. I say this as the journalist in question approached me after my speech, while I was in the stand, stating that I was brave. On questioning what he was speaking about, he said for you to say that the federation is in need of a revamping and that the whole world would hear about it. The story thus tells that it was intentionally written to create the desired effect the journalist wanted and not what actually took place.

I have since sent Mr Hillocks and the Minister of Sports an official letter on the matter and am awaiting a response.

Cleophas Glynn,
St Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation