Skerritt: High Performance Centre takes priority

BY HG HELPS
Editor-at-Large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 31, 2019

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WHILE he has to get acquainted and be updated on financial and human resource information in respect of Cricket West Indies, new p resident Ricky Skerritt has one project directly related to the game that he will give priority in coming days.

The reactivation of the High Performance Centre (HPC) is top of the list, and is within touching distance of getting the production train rolling in that regard.

“If I were to pick one of our 10-point plan that is most urgent it is to put in place a High Performance System,” Skerritt said in relation to his campaign pledge, which included a list of objectives that he and running mate Dr Kishore Shallow used in the lead-up to the victory over incumbent Whycliffe Cameron and Emmanuel Nanton for president and vice-president of Cricket West Indies.

“By shutting down the Barbados HPC, for whatever reason, in defence they (former board) have tried to give all kinds of reasons why it was done. What is important now is not what was done but what is going to be done, and what is going to be done at the earliest opportunity is we are going to sit down with the University of the West Indies Faculty of Sport and talk about a concept of outsourcing high performance matters, projects, programmes, use of certain science and technology etc, as a delivery from The UWI in partnership with Cricket West Indies on a financially sound basis,” said the man who scored victory at the Jamaica Pegasus in St Andrew last Sunday.

“Getting a third or fourth party involved in terms of sponsorship is where we have to go. Just by having UWI, technically we have the governments involved. That system will now have a spoke in the wheel automatic system because UWI has campuses across the region, and guess where UWI is looking to put their next campus – its Antigua and Barbuda where Cricket West Indies has invested already in a sporting facility.

“So it's all integrated, it's not about moving the HPC from Antigua back to Barbados as is being said, because it was never moved to Antigua. The focus shifted to Antigua where a facility was being renovated and built and that is still work in progress. So it wasn't as if you moved the HPC from one place to the next, what you did is that you shut down one entity and have failed to put a replacement in place.

“Our approach now would be to try and get a system in place, its core of which will be at Cave Hill in Barbados, designed to give the kind of support that today is an essential part of cricket preparation and cricket development. All the other competitors in world cricket have similar inputs to their building of young cricketers and their performance excellence and we don't have it. That's our number one priority.

“The 10-point plan was not exhausted. It was a priority list of the cricket concerns that we see that past players and cricket afficianados that we have spoken to in our trips throughout the region to campaign, it wasn't just about telling people what we were going to do. We were getting feedbacks from people in terms of what the needs are.”

Skerritt said that his administration was able to shape the 10-point plan very early, while knowing that it would be fined-tune as time went along.

As for CWI undertaking a forensic audit into the financial affairs of the organisation, Skerritt is taking things in stride.

“I don't want to talk too much publicly about that (forensic audit) but yes, there are some concerns and we have to get accurate financial information and we have to make sure that the governance issues that are most urgent are addressed quickest.

“There is some information … I'm not going to call it a forensic audit, I am going to say whatever it takes to get a very clear picture of the way forward, financially, for Cricket West Indies we are going to do it,” the new cricket boss stated.


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