Sports Awards judge laments ‘disrespect’ shown to panel

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The unit within the Ministry of Sports charged with the organiing of the country’s National Sports Awards, has come in for criticism from chairman of the judges’ panel, Franklyn “King Frank-I” Francis, who has accused the body of being “disrespectful” to the five-member panel.
Francis, speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show this week, highlighted what in his opinion, is a series of disregard for the judges and the important role they play in the Vita Malt sponsored event.
“My treatment from some of the people within that ministry has been very disrespectful to say the least and I think that this is compounded from a number of things over the years. I just don’t think the judges have been treated with the respect that should be accorded to them for performing such an important function,” he said.
“At the last sports awards for example, there was no place designated for the judges to sit down and some of the judges who came there with their wives, for example, were told ‘oh, she [the wife] can sit down over so [in another area]’. These things are below the dignity that I think should be afforded to judges of such an important situation,” he added.
Francis, who was appointed last year alongside the other members of his panel for a two-year team, said several recommendations made by his team as to how the awards could be improved, have been ignored by both the organizing unit and the Ministry of Sports.
“We presented a two-page document and we presented it not only to Heather Samuel-Daley [Director of Sports] but to the Minister [EP Chet Greene] too. It’s there on hard drive, in hard copy and all sort of ways but it was never taken into account but we saw that there was a lot of bickering between there,” the judge said.
“One of the changes we had suggested was that from December of a given year is that the associations should not [wait] on the ministry to name a sportsman of the year but they are supposed to present [name] who their sportsman of the year is or who their sportswoman of the year is [during their own awards],” he added.
The award ceremony, which has been postponed several times this year, is carded for July 23 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Francis said he was not consulted on the date which he added, clashes with another important date on his calendar. The veteran broadcaster questioned whether or not he is still head of the judges’ panel.
“I am very fearful now for the whole situation as it exists, so to answer your question, I think I haven’t been revoked as chairman but I think it is the disrespect that has been dished out to myself and my fellow judges that leaves me in a state of wonder as to whether or not I still am the chairman of the judges,” he said.
The awards, originally scheduled for March, had been first moved to May and then June of this year before its most recent July 23 scheduling.

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