By Neto Baptiste
Individuals who have benefited from the sport of cycling over the years are not breaking down the doors of the federation to give back through volunteerism.
This is the view of President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), St Clair Williams, who said the body would be hard-pressed to find volunteers willing to sit on a selection panel amidst criticism over the federation’s lack of a selection policy.
“Every single race put on by the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), all the work is being done by the members of the federation. You don’t see people coming and giving a helping hand, but what you have is a lot of persons who would want to start up negative conversations with respect to how the sport is going,” he said.
“We have at least 12 coaches, some of them are level one and level two; we have people who have gone on commissaire courses and a lot of people who are trainers and mechanics here in Antigua, but the question is, are they willing to give back to the sport? That is the question and they are not stepping up to give back to the sport,” he added.
The issue came to the fore after veteran cyclist Sean Weathered questioned his non-selection to the Commonwealth Games team last week, and accused the ABCF of personal bias in its selection of Jyme Bridges Jr and Conor Delanbanque.
Williams said that, as it stands, the executive is solely responsible for the selection of all national teams, but is not opposed to the formalisation of an official selection policy in an effort to avoid future instances.
“There was a document that we think is probably outdated and I think that during one of the sessions we had, that was on the table for discussion because it is something we need to look at and revamp somewhat, so I am not opposed to that. I will always welcome suggestions in terms of anything to develop the sport of cycling but when you are going to have persons who are not in the interest of the sport but only for personal [gain] then that is not the way to go,” he said.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games will open on July 28 and conclude August 8 in Birmingham, UK.