Athletic Association establishes Commission for Reconciliation

Press Release

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 5th March, 2014 – The governing body for athletics in St. Kitts and Nevis has taken steps to establish a special Commission to craft a new process that would lead to more harmonious and productive working relations between athletes, the Executive and the Association generally.

The Commission is comprised primarily of senior members of the newly elected Executive and is headed by Vice President-Val Henry, and also includes General Secretary- Francil Morris, Treasurer- Burchelle Crooke, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer- Valerie Mason and Enoete Inanga appointed by the Athletes Commission.

Commission Chairman Henry said that generally, the responsibilities of the task force will be to establish dialogue with member athletes of the SKNAAA in St. Kitts and Nevis and overseas, to better understand their concerns, the issues affecting them and to receive recommendations that they may have to help in the advancement of the sport, their performance and the association.

He said the effort will be to create the opportunity for the truth and full picture of all past issues to be highlighted, discussed in a cordial fashion and permanently resolved.

Henry indicated however that the committee was only established on 19th February, 2014, and is still preparing to carry out its mandate and has not yet formally met with or spoken to interested parties. He assured however that such dialogue will commence later this week because the SKNAAA wants to create a new paradigm for better relations, recognizing that there have been challenges in the past.

He said to avoid misunderstandings in the future they are also hoping to enhance and fully outline to all stakeholders, the criteria for selection of athletes for the various competitions at home and overseas. This will be done in collaboration with other relevant Commissions of the Association and will incorporate the views of athletes.

Henry also explained that the Commission wants to ensure that going forward there is regular and formal interaction between athletes and management and will be working to enhance the mechanism to facilitate this task.

One other responsibility to be fulfilled is the creation of new protocols for arbitration, when there is conflict between athletes and management.

Henry said their approach will be transparent and their work will be conducted in a spirit of fairness and one that is respectful and friendly.

He said that the Commission and the Executive of the SKNAAA are fully open to dialogue with all athletes to resolve any outstanding matter that may exist, from both sides. The Vice President stated that the new Executive has been kept busy over the past weeks in preparation for various important events, such as the TDC Interschool Championships, RAMS Primary School Championships, CARIFTA Trials, and the Development Meets, but they thought it was also important enough to dedicate some time for the establishment of this special commission.

The Commission Chairman said the SKNAAA Executive shares the desire to see the timely resumption of the services of all athletes and this is why it is critical for there to be early dialogue to work towards that objective, as it begins to turn its attention to some of the other major events on the local and international Athletics Calendar for 2014. It has already made an appeal for all athletes to make themselves available to provide the required assistance and cooperation to aid the work of the Commission.

End of Release

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