Retired elite umpire, Billy Doctrove is now President of the Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC).
Doctrove was elected on Thursday May 18, 2017, in a move that has seen a completely new executive being voted into office.
Mr. Doctrove received eight votes while the incumbent president Felix Wilson received five with one ballot spoilt.
Speaking to Dominica Vibes on Friday 19 May 2017 Mr. Doctrove said, “It was a good feeling to become the president of the DOC, it’s a very prestigious position and very important one in relation to development of sports.”
He said it is no secret that he is passionate about sports and being involved in it all his life, he is honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the DOC.
The vote, he said, was an indication that the associations which form the DOC were not happy with the direction the organization was heading under Mr. Wilson’s leadership.
“They were not happy with the leadership style of Mr. Wilson so they wanted a change. I think that’s what they voted for because our team put seven candidates forward in different positions and we got six, so it was quite clear that they wanted a complete change.”
No one from the previous executive, he said, is on this newly elected one.
Other members of the new DOC executive is Vice President Glen Etienne, treasurer Barry Casimir, Secretary Phyllis Baron, assistant secretary-treasurer Fenella Wenham, three committee members Dr. Jenny Allport-Williams, Woody Lawrence and Gordwin Dorsett and is completed by a member of the Athlete’s Commission.
The mission of the new DOC executive according to Mr. Doctrove is to change the public’s perception of it and to regain their trust as they want the public’s support.
“The perception of the people, as far as the DOC is concerned, is that of persons who have went there just to enrich themselves, have a good time, travel, get allowances, go to good hotels, be managed, be coaches, be chef de mission, just for their own personal interests, that’s the perception that the ordinary person has of the DOC so we intend to change that,” he explained.
Also up for a change is the direction the DOC has taken with athletes and sporting associations.
“We want to empower all the athletes to ensure that they are not only competent on the field of play, but also off the field of play, you know to be a little more well-rounded individuals, and we just want to encourage the different associations themselves to put their house in order so that they can be in a position to benefit from the extra and increased opportunities that hopefully we can provide for them.”
Mr. Doctrove is of the view that many young athletes have a lot of potential but were not given the opportunity to fulfill that potential.
“Many times they have to go out of Dominica and you have to give them that opportunity, they cannot do it on their own, you have to give them that support and that’s where the DOC lacked a lot and we are asking that the associations themselves put their house in order to ensure that they can benefit from those things.”
Moreover, he said the new executive wants to welcome associations who were “kicked out of the DOC” back into the organization as this means that they are not affiliated with the international body.
Mr Doctrove explained that when an association is not affiliated with the international body they are unable to benefit from benefit from courses, scholarships, different training programmes and even funding.
“So we want to make sure that all other associations that were kicked out, we will try and help them to get them back in the fold, get them back affiliated to their international bodies so that they can benefit from all what their international bodies have to offer them.”
Mr. Doctrove said he knows that the job is going to be a long and difficult one but with the support of the sporting and general public he is confident that there is now a team that can provide the DOC with the leadership that people have been clamoring for many for many years.