Integrity not audacity should be the dictum
By Rawle Welch
Earlier this week, I was having a telephone conversation with a good friend of mine about the United Kingdom’s (UK) Athletics Chief Charles van Commenee’s decision to resign from his post even after guiding them to their best results since 1964.
The discussion was prompted following several articles in the local dailies that castigated Guyana’s own poor performance at the 2012 London Olympics where this country failed to gain a medal.
Immediately, the essence of the discourse was whether this country possesses officials with the decency to give up their post even after repeated disappointing results during their tenure at the helm of their respective organizations and we both agreed that based on the overpowering evidence we do not have many persons with such character be it in sports or any other national endeavour.
The Dutchman van Commenee’s announcement to step aside was as a result of him not achieving his stated target of eight medals in athletics, falling short by just two, citing in a statement that the job needed “new energy and approach” through to the World Championships in 2017.
During the exchange, we both questioned whether our officials set a target to achieve or in the absence of a well-defined Sports Policy backed up by substantial financial support they just name athletes and make themselves present at the Games.
We continue to keep administrators in office whose track records are miserable and who unmistakably due to their performances seems to be short of understanding on how to extricate us from the present inexcusable situation.
Even the consistent lamentations about these officials anesthetized mind-set seem not to stir them to the realization that they’ve obviously failed a generation of athletes who’ve displayed commitment and determination, all key components for success only to be let down by selfish and self-serving caretakers of sport.
The UK Athletics Chief even after gaining overwhelming support from most of the athletes thought it best to give someone else a chance to implement their policy which perhaps could inject new energy and techniques.
This shows someone with integrity because he made a promise to the British people and in spite of an outstanding display by their athletes the mere fact that he fell short of his prediction in his view necessitated such action.
As we’ve seen in our scenario, the most feared officials are the ones who’ve been in power for close to two decades without a mark of achievement, but still has the audacity to cling to office and they do so through unmitigated support from cronies, while those who attempt to challenge their survival are often times scorned.
Sport in Guyana could only move forward if those who’ve failed release their stranglehold on power and allow the injection of new ideas and personnel, anything otherwise will keep us right where we are, the cellar dwellers.
In other words, integrity not audacity should be the dictum.