by Linda Straker
- National Sports Council established to facilitate development of sports
- Commencement order published in Government Gazette of 3 November 2023
- As of 7 November, any individual who wants to use any playing field or sporting facility will have to seek council’s permission
As of 7 November 2023, all sporting properties including rights owned and managed by the Government of Grenada will be vested in the National Sports Council — a new statutory body established to facilitate the development of sports in Grenada.
Initially approved by members of both Houses of Parliament in 2012 during the Tillman Thomas administration, the commencement order of the National Sports Council Act, 2012, signed by Minister Ron Redhead, was published in the 3 November 2023 edition of the Government Gazette. As a result, any individual who wants to use any playing field or sporting facility will have to seek the council’s permission.
Section 17 subsection C states any individual who enters or attempts to enter any sporting facility or playing field to make use of any such facilities or playing field under the control of the council, other than that which is authorised by the council commits an offence, and is liable, on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.
A senior judicial officer who prefers not to be named is concerned about the language of that section. “By saying anyone, it means that any person who walks, strolls or engages in a personal physical activity at any playing field will have to seek permission from the Council.”
“Can you imagine young people both men and women who on evenings are playing football or exercising must now seek permission from the council to use a community playing field? This is tantamount to privatisation and that is a matter of deep concern.”
According to the legislation, the same fine or imprisonment will apply to anyone who wilfully disrupts any sporting activity sponsored by the council or assaults any members, officer or servant of the council in executing his duty.
As of 7 November, all liabilities incurred by the sporting facilities and playing fields such as money due and owing to Nawasa, shall of that date have effect as if the council had incurred them.
Among the functions of the council are to stimulate and facilitate the development of sports generally in Grenada; develop, maintain and manage sporting facilities, including all playing fields provided by the government for public use; save and except the Grenada National Stadium.
It will also administer the funds of the council and all Government grants allotted to sporting organisations; develop an annual national sporting calendar, to be published no later than one month prior to the start of each calendar year; and facilitate and support the organising of national sporting events, including the Grenada National Championships, in collaboration with the respective national federations, ministries and agencies.
The council shall also support the work of the national federations in the organisation of regional and international sporting events taking place in Grenada; provide oversight and support for all islandwide sporting competitions through liaising with parish sports councils as well as organise and implement training and development activities aimed at strengthening the operations and financial viability of various sporting federations.
As it pertains to sporting organisations the council shall support the implementation of development plans initiated by the respective national federations for introducing young people to the various sporting disciplines; provide administrative and logistical support to all national federations through the establishment of a central sports secretariat and facilitate and support the preparation of national teams for competition in regional and international sporting events.