By Neto Baptiste
Member of Parliament for St Paul Constituency, EP Chet Greene, has denied claims that he derailed efforts to introduce an already crafted national sports policy during his tenure as sports minister from 2014 to 2018.
Greene, who is also President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), said that although he saw “bits and pieces” of writings, there was never a completed document that was presented to him.
“There was no policy; no sports policy. I’ve seen bits and pieces of writings and submissions pasted together or pieced together [which] could be the template or the beginning of what is needed to be a sports policy, but I have never, while I sat in the chair as minister of sports, seen anything coming to my attention purporting to be a sports policy,” he said.
Reports had surfaced that Greene rubbished the document and ignored requests to formalise a committee geared towards tweaking and or improving on the document.
The former cricketer also sought to debunk claims by former United Progressive Party (UPP) senator and former MP, Chester Hughes, that the ABLP government has failed to move sports forward since taking office in 2014.
“When we took office in 2014 and under my watch as sports minister and before the elections in 2018, we had upgraded and repaired no fewer than 16 playing fields across this country including lighting them, resurfacing them. Even the ones you mentioned in Liberta, although not complete, work was carried out there where the basketball court surface was upgraded, hoops refurbished in terms of adjustable hoops where youngsters would no longer have to be throwing a ball from ground to the typical standard height of an adult hoop, but rather had the benefits of retractable hoops which made learning of the sport more fun,” he said.
Greene said the party will seek to improve in some areas where the upgrading of facilities is concerned while Hughes said a UPP government would develop a policy that includes programmes and structural development on the sister isle of Barbuda.