Volleyball: Three months reprieve for federation 


The caretaker committee headed by Ronald Wong (middle)
has three months to put the volleyball federation affairs in order.


Ronald Wong has been appointed head of a new caretaker committee and together with four other members, has been given three months to put the volleyball federation in order. 

This was the main outcome of the sport’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday at the National Sports Centre (NSC) Training Center. 

They were appointed by the members representing the volleyball clubs registered with the federation after the assembly took the decision and voted the executive committee out of office. This was the culmination of the dissatisfaction felt by the members on the work done by last year’s elected executive committee. 

The former committee had been plagued by a series of controversies during the past few months. The elected Chairman Hughes Houareau had stepped down and a row regarding his submission of the chairman’s report for 2015 led to his indefinite ban from the federation. Furthermore the Secretary General Jeanine Faure had also resigned and last week the treasurer Frederick Denis also tendered his resignation although he was present at the AGM to present his report.

The four other members of the caretaker committee are Secretary, Tahiri Mussard, Treasurer, Terry Servina and two ordinary members Jourdanne Imer and Bernard Denis. The meeting was also attended by NSC’s Director for Sports management and Development, Robert August and it was a well animated one with members either questioning or disagreeing on most issues on the agenda.

Generally the members felt that the conflicts within the federation had greatly tarnished the image of Seychelles Volleyball which “used to be one of the best federations in Seychelles and now our sport is in disrepute,” pointed out one member. 

The members felt that the committee only elected last year on some major promises to take the sport to another level had failed in their mandate. Note that a committee is normally elected on a four year mandate. 

They also felt that they had too many questions and doubt about what had been really happening in the federation but was either not getting the answers or the answers were not to their satisfaction.

The main point of contention was the handling of the executive committee affairs. In the absence of the chairman’s report the executive committee had prepared one which was read out by the former acting chairman Bernard Denis. He mentioned the various competitions which took place last year as well as the international achievements of the National team and clubs.

He explained the problems really started with Seychelles’ preparations for the Indian Ocean Games at a training camp in France. “Both National teams were very active during the year with preparations for the two major games. It is one of the domains where various problems were encountered and it took longer than expected to solve while some remained unsolved, giving rise to negative image,” the reports says. Members expressed their anger over the issue, as promises to investigate and apply sanctions against those involved in the France training camp incident, were not done.

The other big issue was the management and resignation of Hughes Houareau as chairman. The assembly wanted to know who took the decision to ban the former chairman indefinitely. 

Instead, they wanted a time frame to be added to Mr. Houareau’s suspension from all volleyball activities for failing to present the chairman’s report and for bringing the local game “into disrepute,” as stated by some members. 

In fact this is one of the issues the new temporary committee will have to work on. But the main sticking point that really forced for the call to dissolve the executive committee was that treasurer’s report. It was the outgoing treasurer Frederick Denis who read out his report. He noted that an important paper with details of the expenditures of the federation had mysteriously disappeared from the office of the acting chairman. But still the members queried the figures on the paper which they said did not tally at all and plus several documents relating to expenditures were missing. One of the points raised was about a SCR10 000 prize money given to the Cascade Volleyball club. The Club’s manager claimed to have never seen the money but the federation insisted that the money was given to the team’s captain and she in turned distributed it to the players whereby they signed for it upon receiving the money. 

In the end the assembly was not satisfied with the federation’s accounts and Mr. Denis asked for a reprieve until Wednesday to sort out the issues with the auditors. It was at this point that the motion was raised to dissolve the executive committee and to appoint a caretaker one. And the majority voted in favor. The NSC representative, Robert August gave his approval but with certain strict conditions. One was that the account issue will have to be solved by Wednesday and approved by the assembly soon, otherwise the NSC will not disburse the annual grant to the Volleyball federation plus they will not have access to any sports venues. Secondly he made it clear that the new committee is strictly a caretaker one and was given three months to put Volleyball federations in order and start competitions. And he also said that after the three months the federation will have to hold fresh elections for a new executive committee. 

Ronald Wong received 19 votes from the 26 teams present. He explained that right now the sport is in disorder and his committee will have to work hard on the federation’s structure. “We will be taking the views and demands of the members in the meeting, work and polish them and after bring them back on the table for approval of the federation. We will also propose to our members the fact that it is now time to implement a whole new structure for the federation. It’s probably time for us to move away from a big voluntary executive committee with a lot of tasks to a leaner one but with a full time well paid Secretary General who will oversee the day to day running of the federation and execute the orders of the executive committee,” he told TODAY sport.

Mr Wong has earmarked five main points to work on, being the development of beach volleyball, national competitions, international tournaments, national teams and youth development. “We also need to update our constitution which I feel is quite old,” he explained. But for now the most urgent task is to make sure that the federation’s account is in order and this should be done by Wednesday. 


Source: Today.sc 3-7-16