As sportS fans around the world reel from revelation after revelation that there is a legitimacy crisis in sports governance, news last week that the 2016 Rhodes Scholar award went to a 24-year-old woman from Clarendon named Sherona Forrester was welcome relief.This young lady from Clarendon epitomises all the attributes recommended by the Rhodes committee.Forrester has been shown to be not only an economics genius, but her life story to date has revealed that it is possible to combine academic work, sports, and community involvement without sacrificing any personality traits.Forrester has represented this nation at football and singing, as well as being involved (at leadership level) in countless other activities that makes a youngster’s life worthwhile.grow where plantedI listened in awe to an interview with her on a local radio station last week and wished that her story could be printed and distributed to all schools under the purview of the Ministry of Education as it shows that you can grow where you are planted.Our 2016 Rhodes Scholar grew up in a rural community and went to school in her vicinity.After earning a place at Glenmuir High, Forrester spent her secondary school life there, and achieved excellence in every sphere of curricular and extra-curricular activity on offer at the school.As her sporting prowess was revealed, history will show that she did not have to go to a brand-name ‘netball school’, or a brand-name ‘maths school’, or a brand-name ‘female football school’ to achieve mastery in her many crafts.Her story must have been a dagger to the hearts of all the proponents of school transfers to enhance the potential of child athletes. You can grow where you are planted.Congratulations to Ms Forrester and the Ministry of Education “Keep up the pressure!”The transfer of students primarily to enhance a school’s sporting record is wrong, and perpetrators need to be exposed and sanctioned.I have been made aware of a report from the Danish Institute of Sports Studies, authored by one Dr Arnout Geeraert, where he looked at (and ranked) sporting federations around the world based on how transparent, democratic, and accountable they were. He has found that the international sports governance system is deeply flawed.By design, international sporting organisations do not allow stakeholders to monitor and sanction decision-making members. None of the associations studied published per diem payments and bonuses given to senior officials. None has term limits for their president.In Jamaica, when you think of (and remember) the fisticuffs, subterfuge, slandering of opponents’ character, and other nefarious activities that surround the elections for presidents of our sporting associations – a non-paying job – and the point-blank refusal to step down in the face of genuine concern and criticism of fans, the impression is that we need to do something about our own problems. Something is indeed rotten, and it is not only in the state of Denmark!IMPATIENT FOR ANSWERSThe war of words between the president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) andthe chairman of a Caricom Committee chaired by the prime minister of Grenada is impatient of a solution.Readers may recall that a committee set up to look at the governance structure of West Indies cricket, with majority members nominated by the WICB, found that the president and his executive body should immediately be dissolved and an interim body set up to administer cricket in the West Indies.The president, Dave Cameron and his executive, after agreeing to abide by the findings of the committee, is now using every ploy known to man to extend the life of their board. Interesting times are indeed ahead. I hope that when the smoke clears, the will of the people of the Caribbean will prevail.We need term limits, annual salaries, and published audited accounts for all of our sporting organisations. Nothing else will do.
Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) Director Ann Greene on Thursday disclosed that a total of 2532 cases of child abuse were recorded in Guyana between January and August 2019.She added that with a head count of 2380 children, the CCPA has to find alternative care for 102 children. These comments came during the opening of the Children Centre in Sophia, Greater Georgetown.Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) Director Ann GreeneHowever, Greene stated that “the policy is that children are only to be removed from their families and placed in institutional care as a last resort since institutional care, although a life saver for many children, has shown to cause a range of problems for children. Consequently, when children are placed in institutions, every effort must be made to get them out before they become institutionalised”, Greene stated.She stated that in light of this phenomenon, institutional care should last for the shortest time possible.The CCPA Director further stated that currently, efforts are being made to return children from institutions to their biological families.“At present, there are 175 children in the foster and kinship care programme and the families receive monthly cash disbursements. The prevention of separation of children from their parents and dis-institutionalisation of children are priority programmes of the Ministry of Social Protection through the CCPA”.Just a few weeks ago, the CCPA conducted a training exercise with parents to prevent child abuse, in recognition of the high levels of abuse in hinterland areas.The Agency said sessions were conducted in two communities within Region One (Barima-Waini) in collaboration with the schools’ Welfare Department and other stakeholders.On the other hand, another session was also facilitated in Agricola, Greater Georgetown. That training was conducted with support from Sol Guyana.The CCPA Director had previously said that there remained a gap between what the law required and the innate culture of some communities as she was speaking on the attempts of the Agency to address child sexual abuse in communities within the interior regions.“We have found that Region One [Barima-Waini] and Region Seven [Cuyuni-Mazaruni] would stand out in cases of sexual abuse against children. If we look at the particular regions, we have a gap between the law and the culture in those areas. That means that there’s the law that says sexual activity at age 16, but in some culture groups, there’s a younger age,” Greene told this newspaper in an invited comment.She said the law works for all children and that is what the Agency has been doing over time. (Kristen Macklingam)