Suki hits a snag
THINGS?AREN’T GOING well for the world’s Go-As-You-Please draughts champion.
Ronald “Suki” King says there is a missing piece to the staging of his upcoming International Checkers & Draughts Festival.
King, president of the Barbados Checkers and Draughts Federation (BCDF), which won the bid to host the World Qualifier, has insisted that the Barbados Draughts Association (BDA) is not pushing to sanction the event.
However, president of the BDA, Glyne Howell has strongly rejected this claim.
In an interview with NATION SPORT yesterday, King revealed that in seeking sponsorship for the event, slated to be held October 5 to 14, he had been offered assistance from the Arts and Sports Fund, which operates under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
He said all they asked him to do was to obtain and submit to the committee an endorsement from the BDA.
But King said that having contacted Howell, seeking his endorsement on numerous occasions, he was yet to receive a reply.
The long-standing draughts champion added that he had even persuaded the president of the World Checker Draughts Federation, Richard Beckwith, to write a letter to Howell, asking him to support the event.
And with the tournament less than a month away, King lamented that unless he received the funding, the event would have to be cancelled.
“If I don’t get sponsorship and the Festival has to be called off there are some serious implications for Barbados,” he said.
“Barbados would face the possibility of being banned by the world body after managing to secure the bid to host the event and then not being able to do so.”
King said both Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler had promised to lend their support.
Howell, though, said the BDA cannot support an association, which according to the rules set by the National Sports Council (NSC), does not exist.
He said that although King said the BCDF was a registered association, there was no evidence to support this.
Furthermore, he said that when asked, King could not produce any evidence to support when he was elected president, who elected him as president, who were the members of the association, or whether or not the association was operating as a functioning body.
“The National Sports Council requires that each year all sporting associations submit a list of its officers, an audited financial statement, and a list of its activities for the calendar year,” Howell said.
“This helps to ensure that an association is functioning and is managed in a transparent way by a committee elected by its membership. To date, the BCDF has yet to do any of the [above].”
Howell said he replied to Beckwith setting out the issues and his reasons for not being able to endorse the BCDF without compromising the BDA’s credibility.
He pointed out, however, that he had still written to the Ministry of Sports asking that King be assisted with hosting the event.