‘Time for change’ - JAAA honorary secretary candidate Davis plans major shake-up of association’s structure
Anthony Davis, candidate for the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) honorary secretary post at today’s annual general meeting (AGM), is promising to revamp the body’s efficiency and response to its stakeholders, and is encouraging voters to use what he described as administrative failures of the last few decades, to guide their decisions.
Davis, who will be going up against long-time Assistant Honorary Secretary of the JAAA, Marie Tavares at today’s AGM at the National Arena, says he is best equipped to manage the responsibilities of the role and push the administration towards international best practices in all areas.
“I have watched what has happened repeatedly and there needs to be significant change in the operations of the JAAA,” Davis said. “At this time of my life, I have experience, nationally and internationally and I think I can contribute to this change.
“For us to change, we need new people in the system. It cannot be that we are just moving around people. Your past experience is a reasonable guide for future expectation. You have people in the JAAA for 30 years, 25 years, look at where we are. You must recognise these are the persons that brought you here. On what basis can you expect an improved performance over the next four years if you pretty much have the same persons?”
Among the changes being proposed by Davis is a widening of the association’s membership.
“We have to change the system of membership,” Davis said. “The JAAA has a reputation of being a cartel. I don’t want to use the term ‘Old Boys’ Club’, because people will say it’s a Kingston College Old Boys’ Club and I am from KC.
“We have to widen the membership base. We have to go to the public and encourage the athletes and officials and other persons who qualify to be members to join, because the wider the base, the more you can provide for the athletes. I want to get in there and open up the organisation,” said Davis. “Now we have about 263 individual members. Just about 40 are present and former athletes. We should have well over 200 athletes in the system. We also have a lot of qualified officials.”
He is also hoping to increase certification and education opportunities for coaches and officials, including a national advertising campaign to encourage persons to get involved.
“We have athletes winning at the World Championships and Olympics level. How many officials do we have at the regional level? How many officials do we have going to anything as an international technical official?”
If elected, Davis is also planning to change the election system and implement an independent body.
“Up to the point when you pay your dues, people in the office should have nothing to do with the election process. I am not convinced that, over the years, enough effort was made by the general (honorary) secretary to ensure a proper structure for the organisation, and that’s what I bring,” said Davis.
Presidential candidate Garth Gayle is the outgoing honorary secretary.
Davis recently retired as sports director at the University of Technology. He also served at the International University Sports Federation.
Garth Gayle will oppose Donald Quarrie for the role of president, while Wayne Long will challenge the incumbent Leroy Cooke for the director or Records position at today’s AGM.