The Ministry of Sports installed a new Director for the National Sports Council which became effective Monday, May 15, 2017. Ian Jones was named for that post. It was an appointment that went quietly as Ritchel Dominguez was replaced due to some internal challenges. Minister of Sports, Patrick Faber explains.
“I don’t know that it is a quiet change, there was a vacancy and it was in the media. In fact I remember one media house pointing out that this was a long standing vacancy. I don’t think that is was that long standing, it was since January I think and we had Mr. Charlie Slusher acting as Director of the National Sports Council. I want to say that Charlie did an excellent job in the interim and was actually one of the applicants who applied. We had a process of selecting the new director and while he was not successful, the successful applicant as you have heard was Mr. Ian Jones. We want to place on record how much we value the work of Charlie Slusher, the work that he did in the interim and in fact we have made it now so that in fact Charlie will become the number two person in the National Sports Council. It is a promotion for him. It is something that he has embraced and we look forward to Charlie and Ian working closely together along with the Federations and Associations concerned with sporting in this country to push a very productive agenda in the years to come.”
Jones is replacing Dominguez who served less than a year in that capacity. We spoke with Jones on his ability to fulfil the mandate of the NSC.
“I have been involved with sports for many years and everybody who knows me in the sporting family knows the type of work and progression I will bring to the sports council. I have a passion for sports, that is my number one passion.”
“You speak about having a passion for sports, you speak about loving sports but when it comes to being on a court in comparison with having to deal with all the internal politics and all the egos and personalities that come along with all the disciplines, how prepared do you feel to deal with all of that?”
“I’m very much prepared because I wasn’t necessarily an athlete. I was in sports management. I’ve been from a very young age in managing clubs in the premier league of Belize. Most recently I was president for the Verdes Football Club and under my watch I took a club that basically not winning to become the national champs of Belize, represent us internationally and I can boast to say we are the only club that has ever won an international game on our home turf and I did all of that with minimal budget. We were able to do what we needed to do in terms of that. Sports Management is not new to me. Dealing with the politics and different interactions with people is not new to me. I have been doing this for a while. I’m on several different sporting facilities for example I am on the marketing committee for the Football Federation, I’m on several committees for the Premiere League as well so I also assist other sporting entities. All these years I’ve been doing a lot of sporting activities behind the scene so it is not new to me, it is not a task that I am not ready for or prepared for but like everything else you cannot be too prepared to continue learning and continue gaining experience from those around you who have done it before.”
Jones is currently pursuing post-graduate studies in Sports Management from the University of the West Indies.