PHOTO: Val Henry (credit: govia.wordpress.com)

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (WEDNESDAY 14TH MARCH 2018) – The newly-elected President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (SKNAAA), Val Henry, has disclosed that the organisation “is not in a very healthy financial position.”

At a press conference held on Tuesday this week (13th March) at the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium, he shared details of its financial standing with figures provided about how much money the new committee met following the December 2017 election in giving a bittersweet run down of the group’s reality which include a lump sum debt.

“…we met US$35 dollars on one account in Scotia Bank and $2,100 dollars on our National Bank account with bills to be paid of over $8,000 dollars, you do the math,” he told reporters.

He however, went on to add: “But that’s good news. The bad news is that we also inherited a debt of over $500,000 dollars but that’s the good news. The worse news to that is that debt was once over $800,000 dollars and were it not for the support of this Minister of Sport and the government of St Kitts and Nevis that helped us to draw down on that debt of $400,000 dollars, we would have been in a very serious position but that still is not the bad news, it was worse than that, we also had to receive debt forgiveness for over $345, 000 three month ago for money that we owed. 

He said the new committee met many challenges.

“One of the challenges that we met was that we were broke; dead broke, and some of us in our private lives we are very shy to speak about our financial state but let me make it very clear, the SKNAAA is not in a very health financial position.”

In looking at where all the expense is coming from, he outlined: “This expense is coming from the events that we put on, the athletes that we send overseas for different international competitions and very little of it in terms of our operations on the local front and a lot of it came from the hosting of CARIFTA Games in 2015. So yes, since 2015 we are still struggling to pay the bills and it has been very difficult.”

He said “If it were not for the support of one of our key partners, the government of St.Kitts and Nevis our preparation for the last Olympic Games in Rio might not have been possible.”

Henry also stated that it costs a lot of money for the athletes to prepare needed over $500,000 for such noting that the government again provided assistance.

Henry who informed that he has been on the SKNAAA executive for four years and three months, talked about the focus going forward to improve the organisation’s monetary status.

“We have to begin taking steps to be more self-sufficient financially. It is a burden that at times we feel discouraged but when we recognise the benefits to the young people we continue and so this is why the SKNAAA has adopted a more prudent approach when it comes to the financial management of the events that it organises.”

Henry said the SKNAAA will share more information publicly from now on.

“One of the new styles that you would find form the Association going forward is one where we’d come to the public more often through the media and…where we’d share things that perhaps in the past we shied away from sharing. I think to some extent that has led to misconceptions so you’re going to find a new approach from the Association where we’re going to be very respectful but also frank in terms of what we share with the public.”

Public entities as well as private business like RAMS and TDC have been applauded for their longstanding support also.

The 41st edition of the RAMS Inter Primary Championships is slated to held this weekend.