DARRYL SMITH spoke about his plans which he will undertake as Minister of Sports, during the annual Harvard Club award ceremony on Saturday night, at the Club’s St Clair establishment.
Delivering the feature address at the event, Smith stated, “one of the things I’ve noticed in my short time as Minister meeting with these sporting bodies is a lack of data. We’ve been making decisions just ‘how the breeze blow’.” Giving an example of a recent visit to the Arima Municipal Stadium with the Arima Member of Parliament (MP) Anthony Garcia, Smith pointed out, “there was a debate (with council employees) about the track that was (in) the Velodrome and is now destroyed.
“The debate was about if to put back a track or a grass track but I asked ‘has anyone consulted with the NAAA (National Association of Athletics Administrations)?’ Nobody has asked the NAAA what they’ll recommend.” Smith made it clear that, “we have to ensure we collect data.
We may take a little longer but, at the end of the day, we don’t have to go back and do (over things).
Consultation, data collection and analysing is something you’ll be seeing in this Ministry.” He also touched on the issue of maintenance of sporting venues, and related a meeting with an elderly man at the Jean Pierre Sports Complex, Mucurapo hours earlier. The man, according to Smith, claimed to have helped built the facility in the late 1970s.
Smith commented, “he said ‘Mr Smith, the see that air conditioning in the Jean Pierre, it was put it and it worked for two years.
It broke down in 1978 or ’79 and, since it broke down, it has never worked. Nobody has ever gone to fix it, that air conditioning has stayed there broken down.’ The Sports Minister added, “legacies don’t have to be big buildings. If my legacy is that we maintain and able to bring back what has been started and not finished, so be it. We’ll happy if these (places) are up and running properly.” Admitted being a Harvard member as a youngster, Smith ended, “Harvard has a humble and a nice vibe that I learnt from.
I’ve taken that through my professional career and my political career. I want to thank all the elders who are here who had some form of shaping me and moulding me.” Honour Roll - CRICKET - Reserve Team: Randy Harvey (Best Batsman); Jerome Simpson (Best Bowler); Randy Harvey (Cricketer of the Year).
HOCKEY - Championship Team: Chemika Ellis (Most Improved); Kwylan Jaggassar (Most Disciplined).
Trinity Team: Jeannette Clarke (Most Improved); Fiona Le Blanc (Most Disciplined).
Junior Team: Britney Pope (Most Improved); Micaiah King (Most Disciplined); Nia Cumberbatch (Most Valuable Player).
FOOTBALL - First Team: Landon James (Most Improved); Shaquille Coombs (Most Disciplined); Hakim Du Bois (Most Outstanding); Kyle Jones (Footballer of the Year); Johann Mendoza (Football Special Award).
SPECIAL AWARDS - Table Tennis: George Lee Shee Basketball: Michael Alexander Member of the Year — Dexter De Souza