Sports Minister: There Are No Excuses For Associations Not Making Submissions

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By Neto Baptiste

Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew, remains optimistic that all eligible associations will make their nominations for February’s National Sports Awards on or before the 3 pm deadline on Friday.

Matthew was speaking on the heels of news that until midday Monday, only the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding Federation had made submissions to the Ministry of Sports.

“I remain optimistic that they will all get their nominations in,” he said, “but it is disappointing because there have been different complaints over the years that there has been short notice [from the Ministry of Sports] and I can say without any fear of contradiction that all the associations were sent the forms on September 3rd — three months ago.

“In fact, if we go further back, I can confirm as well that I made the announcement at the sports awards this year, that we would be bringing forward the deadline date by two weeks. So rather than it being the middle of December, it would be the beginning of December or maybe end of November so that the judges could have a bit more time to adjudicate,” he added. 

Director of Sports, Heather Samuel Daley, revealed in a recent interview that only handball and table tennis have indicated they would not be making any submissions this year, as they have not participated in tournaments.

According to Matthew, however, the Ministry has ensured that all active associations received support from the government, and are obligated to recognise the achievements of their athletes by making timely nominations.

“There is no association that asked for support this year and didn’t get it and I had brought you a list of who all got and how much funding they got so far for the year. So it really boggles my mind that there are associations that could believe there is any justifiable reason for not celebrating their athletes and not submitting your athletes to the ministry to be considered for sportsman and sportswoman of the year,” the minister said. 

“I believe as a ministry and as a department of sports, we have done every single thing possible to ensure that the associations receive the best support we are able to give,” he added. A recent inquiry revealed that at midday Wednesday, there had been two additional submissions to the Ministry of Sports. The Antigua and Barbuda Draughts Association and the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association, had both finalised and submitted their nominations.

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