Fri | Jul 30, 2021

SDF begins work on veterans’ assistance programme

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2021 | 5:49 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Wilks
Wilks

Managing Director of the Sport Development Foundation (SDF), Denzil Wilks, says documentaion for the new veteran athletes’ assistance programme, which Sport Minister Olivia Grange recently ordered the foundation to establish, should be ready for revision by their next board meeting later this month.

Wilks revealed that they are now piecing together the proposal for the new board to review, and that the SDF staff is working assidiously to get the programme off the ground.

“We are now putting together a proposal that we think can work. Things like where the funding will be found, how persons will be identified, and the minister indicated that it needs to be sustainable. So in a very short time, we should have documentation in place and pass it through the board before they sign off on it, and then we can have implementation,” Wilks said.

PROPOSAL READY FOR PERUSAL

The administrator noted that they have scheduled board meetings every month and expects the proposal will be ready for perusal by the next sitting.

“We have a board meeting scheduled for the end of February. It is our intention to have the proposal regarding that matter in front of the board for the February meeting,” said Wilks. “Some documents have to be prepared, because we have to get off the ball quickly. The operational and staff levels are working to prepare this documentation and submit it to our board.”

“When the board goes through that, it then goes through the Ministry (of Sport), then the permanent secretary and, ultimately, the minister. Then we take it from there, but we are not going to delay it unduly,” Wilks shared.

He added that the programme will require a lot of external support, but he believes the cause is noble and should generate some corporate and individual interest.

“We cannot do it alone and we want that involvement across the populace because financially, we will not be able to do it alone. These persons (veterans) gave of service and their time when there was nothing in the system. Professionalism was not much in those days, so a lot of them were not given the chance to benefit from their exploits, so we are working on that,” Wilks said.

“We will have to seek collaboration from other sources, people who are supportive of this type of gesture.”

Meanwhile, the new SDF board, which is chaired by George Soutar, also comprises Mike Fennell, Lloyd Pommells, Molly Rhone, Compton Rodney, Annmarie Heron, Newton Amos, Lillian Reid, Alexander Shaw and Wilks.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com