…. NSC’s Leadership Style Under Fire


THE appointment of a new Interim Director for the Solomon Islands National Institute of Sports (SINIS) High Performance (HP) Center by the National Sports Council (NSC) has thrust the organization into the spotlight, but not for reasons it might have hoped.

Amidst a backdrop of controversy surrounding Pacific Games 2023 facilities ownership and management, NSC’s leadership style is under intense scrutiny, with allegations of opacity and political maneuvering.

As the saga unfolds, the media finds itself caught in a whirlwind of challenges.

Attempts to provide clear, ethical reporting are stymied by NSC’s reluctance to engage, preferring clandestine “off the record” discussions.

This cloak of secrecy not only obstructs the media’s quest for truth but also erodes public trust in the transparency of NSC’s operations.

At the heart of the matter lies the contentious issue of PG23 facilities ownership. NSC’s decision to proceed with the appointment of an Interim Executive Director for SINIS, despite objections from the Government citing its illegality, underscores the power struggle between NSC and the National Hosting Authority (NHA).

The move to ban sports federations from the HP Center, ostensibly to safeguard NSC’s interests, only adds fuel to the fire.

Efforts by SunSPORTS to obtain NSC’s perspective on the closure of SINIS were met with silence until a delayed response from NSC CEO Alison Burchel, whose comments, when finally provided, were shrouded in ambiguity and confidentiality.

Burchel’s insistence on off-the-record discussions frustrates journalistic integrity and leaves vital questions unanswered.

The saga takes a dramatic turn with the government’s intervention through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), halting the appointment pending proper procedures between NHA and NSC.

However, NSC Chairperson Joe Sika’s conspicuous silence speaks volumes, leaving SunSPORTS to navigate the murky waters alone.

It is only through the Government Communication Unit (GCU) that confirmation of NSC’s breach of the Pacific Games Act emerges, leading to the removal of SINIS’s Interim Executive Director.

Burchel’s past leadership controversies in Fiji cast a long shadow over NSC’s current predicament, raising questions about her management style and accountability.

Georgina Kekea, President of the Media Association Solomon Islands (MASI), laments the absence of a ‘Right to Information Law’ (RTI), which could bolster transparency and hold public officials accountable.

As the NSC saga unfolds, it serves as a stark reminder of the perils of unchecked power and the imperative of transparency in sports governance.

The media’s role in holding organizations like NSC accountable remains crucial, but without legal frameworks to support their efforts, the battle for transparency will continue to be an uphill struggle.

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