Matthew: Sports Commissioner Tasked With School Sports

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By Neto Baptiste

The country’s Commissioner of Sports, Colin James, has been tasked with looking at ways to improve school sports across Antigua and Barbuda.

This was revealed by Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, who said James had shown interest in the role from the onset and will liaise with officials in the ministry.

“One of the things that he indicated he had a passion for, and I believe he has the expertise to do, is to oversee the schools’ programme in the ministry. We have some challenges in the schools’ programme and primarily, if you speak to the different coordinators, they would tell you we don’t have enough coaches, but we can’t just keep hiring coaches because we have a finite budget. What needs to be done is a structuring or restructuring of some of the programmes to capitalise on the persons we do have, their abilities and the time as just a way to try and make it more efficient and more productive,” he said. 

James was confirmed in the position in January of this year and had said he wanted to focus on the development of women in sports as one of his functions.

According to Matthew, however, plans to re-institute a community sports and games department remains at a standstill as he tries to understand how it will fit into the overall picture.

“It hasn’t progressed any further and to be honest, I am still struggling to understand how or to come to terms with how it is expected to function outside of what is already there, and so it really hasn’t gone anywhere. I think [Kenneth Benjamin and I] spoke briefly several months ago and we had promised to meet again after, but it just never happened,” he said.

Former West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, was earmarked to head the department when it was first announced in 2015 by the former sports minister, EP Chet Greene.

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