by Linda Straker
- Grenada Invitational not listed on NACAC 2019 calendar of events
- Preliminary report indicating how government funds were spent is with Ministry of Finance
Sports Minister Norland Cox said on Wednesday that he was not aware that the Grenada Invitational game was not listed on the North American Central American and Central Caribbean Athletics Associations (NACAC) 2019 calendar of events.
The list which is posted on the association’s website (www.athleticsnacac.org/calendar/) was last updated on 2 October 2018.
On 26 September 2018, the Grenada Invitational management committee issued a news release which said, “For 2019 and beyond we look forward to the continued support of all, including the Grenada public as we continue to bring world-class athletes, to a world-class stadium, to compete in a world-class meet.” No date was provided for the 2019 games.
“I have had no official communications that the game was taken off the calendar,” Cox answered in response to a question which asked for government’s position to the fact that the NACAC calendar of event for 2019 did not list the Grenada Invitational.
Cox said that government believes that the games televising on a major sporting network can bring benefit to the island as a tourist destination and is prepared to support it, once the challenges currently faced by the organisers can be sorted out.
“Once they can sort whatever challenges they have facing, government is prepared to support,” said Cox while reminders reporters that the event is a private entity organised by a private company.
“It’s a private entity but while it is a public good there are limitations of what government can do, we are hopeful that the game can come off for 2019,” he said while pointing out that the final decision rest with directors of the Grenada Invitational.
In early September, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell revealed that he was aware of the failure by the Invitational management to pay some athletics who participated in the Grenada Invitational Athletics game which was held in April.
A significant number of athletics and service providers are reportedly still owed outstanding payment. In the 26 September release, the Invitational management said that “international standards do allow for a six (6) month period within which lane prizes are to be paid to athletes post-event.” However, the rules of the IAAF and NACAC provides for a payment within 30 days following a drug test and an invoice from the athletic representative.
The government has reportedly provided the Grenada Invitational organisers with EC$1 million plus technical support through Ministry of Sports. Cox said that following a request from the government it was recently presented with a preliminary report indicating how government funds were spent on the games. The report is with the Ministry of Finance.