Cornelius: No merit in NOC, sports ministry dual role notion

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President of the Antigua & Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) Everton “Mano” Cornelius, has sought to deflate the notion that having one individual at the helm of both the sports ministry and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) here, has created a better synergy between the two organisations.
Minister of Sports, EP Chet Greene, is also President of the NOC but has indicated he will not seek re-election during this year.
Cornelius, who has stated his intentions of contesting the NOC’s presidency race said that at the onset, he too believed the move would have been a fruitful one but has since taken a dim view of the practice.
“Here is the Minister of Sports [EP Chet Greene] and here is the President of the NOC [EP Chet Greene], one person, so at least I don’t have to go too far to have my discussions but I am wondering now if we are getting true mileage or the kind of interest from a government end of it where he is the Minister of Sports, the NOC end of it,” he said.
“We have to look at this seriously and ask questions as to if it is serving us in the manner it should. Yes, we get some assistance from the government but how do we look at the overall programme because I think when it comes to track and field the only time the government steps in to help us and we are still waiting to get $55,000 from the treasury that we can’t get so we can’t even pay our bills,” he added. 
The former national athlete said there has been too many occasions where both the NOC and the sports ministry have applied a “hands-off” approach when they should have taken lead on what he considers matters of national interest where sports is concerned.
“Once we say a national team is leaving Antigua the Ministry of Sports must make sure that certain things are in place [and] the NOC must ask questions and make sure certain things are in place. I think too many times we have a hands-off approach where they are saying, this is not our sport and if it is not Olympics or, let’s say, Pan American Games then that’s not their responsibility or Commonwealth Games is not their responsibility,” Cornelius said.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) and aspiring politician, Daryll Matthew and President of the Antigua & Barbuda Triathlon Association (ABTA), Dr. Philmore Benjamin, have also all signaled their intentions to run for the post of NOC president.

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