Electioneering – Barbados Olympic Association Style

Steve Stoute, President and Erskine St. Simmons, secretary general of the Barbados Olympic Association, arrived at Northgate Sports Centre as part of their visit to the East of England  to find a suitable training camp for the London 2012 Games.

“…for we fight not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places”

Barbados Underground (BU) has taken up a number of untouchable causes over the years in the interest of integrity and transparency in public life in Barbados and the region. Politics and political shenanigans have tended to dominate our agenda in this regard, and the court system ranks highly on our list. But recently BU has become interested in the operations of the Barbados Olympic Association since it has become clear that its role as a facilitator of sport in Barbados has been poorly executed over the years while its fat cat directors have been around for decades living the lives of royalty on the millions of lottery dollars provided to it each year.

BU became specially interested in the phenomenon where, with an election process in place, failed directors could manage to gain reelection to their position for decades with such poor performance records, and also enjoy such overwhelming votes of confidence.

From BU’s investigations, it now appears that this longevity is largely due to a rigged election process which essentially gives absolute control to the directors, and which uses the sports bodies merely as pawns to present a false front of democracy and fairness and to justify receiving the Lotto handouts.

Continue reading

Lt. Col Trevor Browne States Why He Is Qualified To Be President of the Barbados Olympic Association

Lt. Col Trevor T Browne

My attention has been drawn to your excellent new era medium and in particular to your articles on the upcoming elections at the Barbados Olympic Association. As you correctly indicate, I am a candidate for the position of President, as is Mr. Steve Stoute who has held that post for the past 16 years.

I wanted to take the opportunity to explain that mine is not at all a negative campaign against the incumbent. Indeed I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Stoute – who has contributed a large part of his adult life to the service of sport.

My interest is in moving local sport to the point where it can realize its true potential as a National Developmental Tool, and where the unquestionable talents of our youth can be harnessed for their own personal benefit, and for the national good. All the basic requirements are in place for sport to be a major success story in Barbados.

Continue reading

Steve Stoute, Trevor Browne – Get Set, Ready, Steady, Go!

Submitted by Jeffrey Thompson

Trevor Browne, Craig Archer, Steve Stoute, Erskine Simmons (l-r)

I see all the talk flying around about BOA elections and whether Stoute should or should not step down, but I have a few questions for the esteemed leader which I think he should answer to all Barbados and his constituents before he even thinks about another 4 years. IF RETURNED TO PRESIDENCY

Continue reading

Developing Sports and Culture, the Way Forward

Stephen Lashley, Minister of Sports and Culture

Currently, the sports and culture ministries fall under the same minister. In the minds of most Barbadians these two ministries rank poorly when compared to finance, economic affairs, health, education and foreign affairs. This is unfortunate, the ability of Barbados to sustain a lifestyle anchored in consumption requires a never ending quest to be competitive by fully developing all of our productive sectors.

The current reality which sees Barbados totally reliant on tourism in 2012 sums it up. On this note BU restates its support for Trevor Browne and Craig Archer who have taken on the Herculean task to oust the ensconced Steve Stoute and Erskine Simmons. And also call on Erskine ‘Boozer’ King, head of the national sports council, to step aside. With a new leadership in position at two of our critical sports authorities there is hope that a new dispensation will breed success.

Despite half billion investment in ‘traditional’ education annually by successive governments the potential of sports and culture remains hidden in the rough. An example of how serious we are about culture and how we treat with stakeholders in this sector can be seen in the initiative to find a solution for the restoration of the Empire theatre. One year later, nothing.

Continue reading

The Race Is On For Top Positions At The Barbados Olympic Association

Trevor Browne, Craig Archer, Steve Stoute, Erskine Simmons (l-r)

The news that two sitting Directors of the Board of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) have decided to challenge entrenched incumbents Steve Stoute (president)  and (secretary general) is good news. The pace of change in todays world mandates that we infused the leadership of any organization that wants to remain relevant with new blood.

Steve Stoute has served as president for 16 years and before that as secretary general since 1968! Erskine Simmons has been a director since 1986 and gained the post of secretary general in 1996. It should be noted Erskine is the nephew of Michael Simmons who was the founding secretary general of the BOA in the 80s. A little legacy has developed it seems.

Continue reading

Time For Steve Stoute To Step Down

Steve Stoute, President of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA)

The dust has settled after the 2012 London Olympics and predictable utterances have started to pour forth from the mouths of sports administrators and politicians. At the end of every Olympiad you can bet on the sports administrators who rush to speak authoritatively about what is required to prepare for the next Olympics.  This time around it is a Gline Clarke reported to be the Chief Operating Officer of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA). In a press conference today he trumpeted that the BOA  will be consulting with key sports agencies to build out a 4-year program to prepare athletes for Rio, Brazil.

BU finds it amusing that a spokesman of the BOA would suddenly be enlightened to the fact that preparation for Olympics requires robust preparation. By reading between the lines BU gleaned that the practice has been for the BOA to support a 2-year program (BU is willing to apologize on this point). Surely an organization established since the 1960s should not be scrambling to mobilize any program to adequately prepare sporting agencies for upcoming Olympic Games.  Also of concern to BU is that BOA is leading the effort to plan for Rio. BOA has the deep pockets to fund the several sports agencies all agree but its role should be defined within the framework of a national strategy for sports.

Steve Stoute has been in a leadership role of the BOA since 1968, he needs to relieve himself of office for two reasons. Forty years is too long to lead anything or anyone. Secondly the ass-covering Big Interview he gave to the press on the weekend is the other reason. A scan of the BOA Executive reveals individuals who should be able to make the step up. Note that we have bypassed Ralph ‘Bruggadung’ Johnson and Austin Sealy who similarly disqualify themselves because of the long periods served as Vice President and IOC Member respectively. BU makes the observation for what it is worth that the two top positions of the BOA are occupied by ‘Bajan Whites’.

Continue reading

Is The Barbados Olympic Association Getting The Job Done Mr. Stoute?

This is an anonymous submission.

Steve Stoute, President of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA)

How can the person who represents the very highest position of leadership in sport in Barbados be complaining that not enough is being done for athletes? Who is Mr. Stoute complaining about? Is he not then the very highest person who should be working to see that everything is done in the interest of Barbadian athletes? If this is not the role of Mr Stoute’s association (as the president seem to be suggesting here), then what exactly is that role?

Does the Olympic Association not receive millions of dollars each year from various sources including the local lottery, for the development of athletes? How much money exactly is provided to the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), and how much of this goes to athletes, as opposed to fancy buildings and first class travel overseas?

Did the lottery not provide over $100 million to local sports over the past 10 years? This is for a population of 1 quarter million people. The equivalent amount of funding in the USA with their population of 200 million persons would be $80 billion over the ten years in order to cover the same amount per person in the population. This is nothing to sneeze at. What was the final cost of the team to the Olympics? and what portion of this money is  for the athletes as opposed to perks for officials?

Continue reading