Re-elected President of the Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC), Billy Doctrove, plans to improve the governance and structure of his team and increase opportunities for athletes nationwide.
Doctrove, a former West Indies elite umpire and FIFA football coach defeated Dr. Barry Casimir 11 votes to 6 in elections held on Thursday December 16, to retain his presidency at DOC for a 2nd term. Casimir, who served as DOC treasurer, was the only one who contested against Doctrove. Doctrove was voted President in 2017.
The other elected members were DFA vice president, Glen Etienne who was returned as the vice president, Fenella Wenham who also retained her position as general secretary, Netball Association member Korlita Hamilton (new) as assistant secretary and DFA treasurer Dexter Ducreay as the new treasurer of the DOC.
President of the DABA, Peter Rickeets (new), Chester “Daddy Chess” Leteng (new) of the cycling association and former Dominican Olympian, Woody Lawrence, were elected as committee members.
During an interview with DNO, the president announced that this will be his last term as president and said he felt proud and humbled to have been given the trust and confidence of the membership. He described his team as a “very good” one and said they are looking forward to build on a solid base which was put in place over the past 4 and a half years to benefit the committee and all the athletes of Dominica.
“I have learnt a lot in the past four years. Everything is focused on the athletes to make sure that we increase our support to the association. We want to ensure that our association’s structure and governance is improved,” Doctrove stated.
“We have to ensure that the athletes get opportunity to improve and by improving, we have to get a base especially with our coaches. Last term we spent so much time on training our coaches, so we want to improve the level of our coaches training because sports technology and sports Science is evolving,” he added.
One of the things the DOC president says he wants to accomplish in his second term is the development of an athletes track and despite the setbacks due to COVID-19, he is “really keen to see how the committee can get it done”.
“I’ve spoken to the Prime Minster and I know that he is keen to look into the possibility, because without a track, our athletes will be at a disadvantage. I would like to see in the very near future that the athletics track is put on the front burner,” he stressed.
Doctrove says his administration will also be seeking more opportunities for Dominican athletes to qualify for regional and international competitions, to provide personal caretakers to improve medical care for faster recovery and to pay more attention to preparation which will result in stronger athletes.
He urged athletes to be committed and dedicated, to work hard and not always depend on their coaches to make them fit.
According to Doctrove, currently there is room for improvement but with the skills and talents of new members this will have a positive impact on the committee. He said he has a lot to learn but he believes that DOC is on a firm financial footing which can be used to build the organization.
Doctrove congratulated the DOC executive and its new members and encouraged them to work hard.
The announcement by Dr. Casimir who is president of the Dominica Kayaking and Canoeing Association, of his candidacy for DOC president, generated some controversy particularly with regard to his contention that more could have been done by the DOC and he saw a lot of “gaps” in leadership over the past four years with Doctrove as president.
He said the DOC also failed to take advantage of funding that was available to them.
In response, Doctrove drew attention to the fact that Casimir’s was the treasurer of the DOC for years and had never raised the concerns that he was now advancing.
“I don’t want you to really focus on what Dr. Casimir said because I believe I’m bigger than that and everybody knows that if you are in an organization, you don’t wait four and a half years and wait until nomination night to come out and condemn, the organizations that you’re part of.”
He added that no other member of the executive had ever heard Dr. Casimir make any comment stating that he was displeased with any aspect of his leadership or governance of the DOC.
“I was disturbed by that as well as many people. It just shows that certain person’s lack integrity and ethical Behavior, which those things are very important to me, but obviously not to everybody. I want to move on but it was unfortunate that had to come about but we want to put that behind us, and move forward with the interest of the athletes.”
Doctrove said although he too received “information” on Casmir that he could have published, he choose not to, stating that the members of DOC recognized this as they voted him as president. He said this held a firm ethical footing, sending out a strong message to Casmir to self-reflect.
“This is my last term so next term we will have a new president and I hope that when the time comes for the election that we do not face what we faced over the past weeks because it was not a dignified process,.” He stated.