By Carlena Knight
Halls of fame should be the responsibility of the national federations, according to the Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, as he shared his views on the implementation of a local sports hall of fame last week.
“It has always been my belief that halls of fame for different disciplines really ought to be managed by the national federations. There’s nothing that should stop say the basketball Association from having a hall of fame for recognising its outstanding athletes. The same thing with football, track and field, cricket, whatever. The Ministry of Sports has a program that recognises the best of the best and it’s called a National Sports Awards,” he said.
Although the former Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) president agrees there should be such a programme in place, he said it is up to the local associations to honour their members as they would have a greater understanding of the individuals’ accomplishments, especially if they may not have been that impactful on a national scale.
“While the ministry is obviously the representative of the government where sports is concerned, the ministry may not be aware, or in fact recognise the contribution of say, Neto as a footballer, because on a national level he may not have gotten to the point where he’s compared to a Viv Richards or compared to a Carl ‘Bowlie’ Knight, but within the football fraternity, he may have done enough to receive some levels of recognition,” Matthew explained.
“So, what really ought to happen is that the national federations should find ways of recognising and honouring, and recording for prosperity, the athletes within that discipline that have been outstanding to their sport. Whether it is an administrator, a coach, a player, whatever and the Ministry of Sports will continue to do what it currently does and recognise the best of the best in every sport in a national way.”
Regarding the National Sports Awards, Matthew revealed that plans are underway to host the annual event but it will not follow the normal format.
“Obviously, we cannot recognise the outstanding performances of athletes because there really is no competition that took place this year, but we are in the process of discussing and in some ways finalising various aspects of a National Sports Awards next year to honour certain people,” he said.