By Neto Baptiste
Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, believes that a working relationship between coaches and the principals of the schools to which they are assigned, is a key factor in ensuring there is a smooth running of the ministry’s football programme.
This, the minister said, is one of the areas addressed during a meeting with stakeholders held late last week following reports that some coaches may have been neglecting their duties and not turning out for scheduled sessions with their assigned schools.
“We need to work closer with the principals of the schools. There are some schools that have good relationships with their coaches and some schools where the coaches show up, and so there is no real personal interaction between the principals, the PE teachers and the coach. That is something that needs to be addressed and it is not because there is necessarily any animosity between them, it is just that they don’t have that type of relationship in some of the schools,” he said.
“The second thing that needs to happen and I’ve said this to the coordinator, Mr Benjamin, he needs to go around as well … pick up yourself one day and you go to All Saints and … see if the coach is there and doing what they are supposed to be doing,” he added.
Matthew confirmed also that the ministry will be looking into further reports that coaches within the other disciplines may be guilty of similar acts, but added that the focus is only on football because it is currently being played.
“The thing is, football being the biggest and most popular sport; they have the most coaches as well and they are played in the first term so it is one of those things where you had to, as soon as school starts, jump all over it. The other coaches in the different disciplines have the benefit of school starting, children getting established in their different routines and so on before their disciplines start in the second term,” the minister said.
“It’s not a report that would have come to me directly, whether deliberately or otherwise. When we encounter all those complaints, or hear by the way somebody is not coming to work, they are not going to let me or the Permanent Secretary know. It is really the duty of the person who supervises them to make sure they are at their post,” he said.
As for last Thursday’s meeting, Matthew said he was pleased with the openness and positivity displayed by all.
“I was quite happy with the outcome of the meeting. I was very frank with the coaches, the coordinator was frank and everyone had the opportunity to say everything that was on their mind and they did. I believe coming out of that meeting we should see some vast improvements going forward but it clearly was a necessary meeting to have,” he said. A number of coaches had been fingered as being absence from the schools for which they are responsible. Reports are that a list had been submitted to authorities within the ministry and that little had been done to resolved the issued until the intervention of the minister.