By Carlena Knight
A half a million dollars has been allocated to the Athletes Development Assistance Review Panel (ADARP) to continue to offer financial assistance to associations and their athletes under a number of headings.
In 2019, approximately $400,000 was allocated to that fund but during his Budget presentation on Friday, the Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew made the revelation.
The ministry’s ADARP has been inexistence for over 10 years and has been hailed on a number of occasions as a success as a number of associations and athletes have benefited from the initiative.
“Certainly, since I have been there and I believe it happened with my predecessor, Minister [EP Chet] Greene, every single national association that required funding and requested funding received it — whether it was for the purchase of uniforms for a travelling delegation, whether it was for the purchase of airline tickets for teams to travel, whether it was for team equipment, every single national association that requested funding, received it.
“There are times when the requests come in very late. They are travelling in May and the request comes in April and I keep telling them you can’t operate like that, send us your budget at the beginning of the year so we can programme it throughout the year. Notwithstanding, the support we give to national association financially will be the tune of half a million dollars,” Matthew said.
While Matthew has made the commitment that the ministry will continue to assist in any way they can, he calls on the sporting association to do more and be more respectful to the athletes.
“When you have athletes who prepare and who work hard and they want to represent Antigua and Barbuda, support them,” he appealed.
“When we send out our request for nominees for National Sports Awards, please nominate your athletes, send their bio — and there is a very simplified one-page form — send the names and the bio of the athletes so we can recognise them for national awards. When we have 24 national associations in Antigua and Barbuda and you receive six nominees coming in, it is disrespectful to the athletes. It is a dereliction of duty and when athletes are note recognised, government becomes the whipping boy, the minister of sports becomes the whipping boy but that’s alright and so, I am using this opportunity to tell our athletes and administrators in particular, nominate your athletes so that they can be recognised.
“We have the funding in place. Plan your year properly, you know what events you want to travel to, just let us know and we can work with you,” Matthew said.
Nominations for the 2023 National Sports Awards are now officially open.
The Ministry of Sports announced last Friday that they are now accepting nominees from the various sporting associations.
The deadline for receipt of nominations is April 12, 2023.
Nomination forms are available daily between the hours of 9am to 3:30pm Monday to Thursday, and from 9am to 2pm on Fridays.
Forms may be obtained from the National Olympic Association at the Sir Vivian Richard Stadium’s North Stand, as well as the Department of Sports (formerly the Cricket West Indies Building), the Ministry of Creative Industries offices on Redcliffe Street (formerly the Festivals Office), the Cultural Unit on lower Nevis Street and the office on Old Parham Road, upstairs the KFC and Inet building.
Additionally, nomination forms can also be requested via email at [email protected]
Completed nomination forms must be returned to the Department of Sports, located at the former Cricket West Indies Building on Factory Road.