Swimming Association sets the record straight
Accounts are nearly up to date, no debts owed Plans to attend overseas competitions this year if af

Stabroek News
January 28, 2004

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Two members of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Assoc-iation's (GASA) Management Committee, Karen Pilgrim and John Mario Perreira, have cleared the air on a number of claims made in an article headlined "Management Committee set up to oversee amateur swimming" on the 14th January, 2004. A source had claimed that (1) Mario Perreira was the association's treasurer, (2) the association's accounts used to be audited by Jack Alli and Sons, (3) there was no money in the association's bank accounts when the management committee was set up and (4) monies are owed to business houses and parents of swimmers.

Speaking to Stabroek Sport by telephone Pilgrim, who was appointed secretary/treasurer acting, indicated that Perreira is not the treasurer, but a member of the finance sub-committee.

She also said that Jack Alli and Sons had never audited GASA's accounts. The last financial statement was sent to the firm to be audited and so far no reply has been received from the firm stating whether they will do the auditing or not. This was confirmed by Khalil Alli, a senior executive of the auditing firm.

With regard to claims that there was no money in the association's accounts when the Management Committee was put in place, Pilgrim pointed out that when they took over at the end of June, there was a savings account which still had just over $20,000 and a current account with $335,946. She said she received a bank statement on July 25 with this information.

Pilgrim and Perreira in letters to the editor stated that the association does not owe money to any business house. Our source has since retracted on this issue.

Perreira in his letter to the editor stated that he was tasked with the responsibility of bringing the accounts to the point of audit and so far has succeeded in doing so for the years 2000-2002 and is in the process of completing 2003's accounts. He pointed out in his letter that no evidence of financial impropriety has been uncovered.

He stated that records indicate that whilst the finalised accounts may be in the red, there was actually a sizeable cash balance in the bank account on formation of the management committee.

He said payment of any outstanding amounts that may be owed to parents of local swimmers is pending resolution of issues solely within the said parents' domain.

Our source said some parents of swimmers have since donated what they are owed to the association. Perreira in his letter states that as regards technical assistance from the International Amateur Swim-ming Association (FINA) GASA was over the years in receipt of a subscription to Swimming World's magazines, FINA's yearly handbooks and other FINA publications. The source says that since the management committee was set up, much more information is being disseminated to member clubs and swimmers than in the past.

Pilgrim confirmed that the association's former President and General Secretary, Juman Yassin and Charles Corbin, have tendered their resignation. She said Corbin said he does not want to continue as secretary but is willing to serve in another capacity, while Yassin said he will continue to assist the association in whatever way he can. Our source spoke highly of Yassin and Corbin, and denied that there was any intention to besmirch their reputations.

Perreira pointed out in his letter that GASA's affiliates (five) pay an annual registration fee that goes towards paying GASA's fees to the international federation and other organisations to which it is affiliated and this amounts to approximately US$630. Pilgrim said the other members of the Management Committee are; Clifford Zammitt (chairman), Stephnie Fraser, Charles Corbin, Mary Chung, Vibert Charles, Mariatha Causway and Monica Benn. There are also several sub-committees.

Meanwhile, Vibert Charles, a member of the Technical Committee told Stabroek Sport that the association plans to send representatives to several meetings this year, but it all depends on finance.

Among the meetings he named are the Goodwill meet between Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname which will be hosted by Trinidad, this year, the Summer Olympics in Athens and the short course meet in Indiana USA.

On the local scene, Charles said the association usually assists the Guyana Teachers Union with the National School Championships which is slated for March this year. He said the association will also run off their National Championships.