St. John’s Antigua- The Antigua & Barbuda Amateur Swimming Association (ABASA) has been mandated by the world’s governing body for swimming, FINA, to host an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and elections by the end of January.
This is according to the president of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), Paul “Chet” Greene, who said that FINA, who sent a representative to Antigua in December 2011, agreed with the NOC that the sport here needs urgent attention. But for that to happen, the governing body must first get its house in order.
“The course is simply that by the end of this month, January, there will be elections held within the association. The non-affiliated clubs which have been denied membership by the current executive will be allowed membership of the organisation and so we would see an expansion of the swimming programme,” Greene said.
“Just two months ago or so, the country copped a number of medals at the OECS Swim Meet held in St Lucia, but unfortunately, those persons who represented Antigua & Barbuda did not have the official blessing of the national association and those are the kind of things we are saying are wrong and must not continue,” he added.
The swimming association is accused of not hosting constitutional elections in over 20 years while a number of independent swim clubs have consistently applied to the association for membership without success.
The NOC had sought to intervene on behalf of the unaffiliated clubs who had their intentions of hosting the 2011 OECS Swim Meet dashed after ABASA refused to sanction the event.
The NOC was, however, unsuccessful in their bid. But according to Greene, his main focus is that all are given a fair opportunity to come under one umbrella.
“Our mission, as I said, is not to determine nothing more that the proper path for the sport and so the elections are not our interest. We would have done what we had to do in terms of getting or ensuring that all the national swimming interests come together in the national association,” Greene said.
“FINA has since sent a constitution for review. The NOC has reviewed it and we have assented to it; but the interesting thing is that FINA is keeping the tri-partite arrangement going forward (with) ABASA, FINA and the NOC looking out for the best interest of swimming in Antigua & Barbuda. So by the end of this month, we should be hearing about a new president, about an expanded swimming association.”
A number of unaffiliated clubs have since re-applied for membership to ABASA. There have also reportedly been nominations for top positions ahead of the pending elections.