It appears an irreparable rift has open-up in the Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletics Association (TCAAA) between President Edith Skippings and some of her executive members, which resulted in news release penned by the dissident members informing of Skippings’ “conditional” suspension.
NewslineTCI was informed that Skippings’ perceived suspension has to do with a request by some members of the board demanding that she turns over financial records but have been unsuccessful in their bid so far.
The letter sent to the media on Wednesday, June 8, informed that in Skipping’s stead, 1st Vice President Willah Gray, would assume the role of interim president while Skippings remains on suspension.
The dissenting members also released to the media a letter advising of their action. The release stated:
“To all the members, partners and stakeholders of the Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletics Association, this notice serves as an official correspondence to inform you that as of Wednesday 1st June 2022, Ms. Edith Skippings was placed on a conditional suspension by the executive team of the TCAAA’s.
“Mr Wilah Gray, 1st Vice President, has been appointed as Acting President in the interim.
“Please refer to any other member of the executive team, for any further business of the Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletics Association. The main point of contact remains Mrs. Rosalie Ingham-Hall, General Secretary, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 1(649) 232 2259, for all general inquiries.”
The members later released what they claimed to be the letter informing Skippings of her suspension.
The letter is read in part:
“Dear Ms. Edith Skippings, this letter is to inform you that with immediate effect, you are hereby suspended from the Office of the President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Amateur Athletic Association (TCAAA’s) sic.
“Kindly note that on Wednesday 1st June 2022, an Emergency Meeting was called in accordance with Article 10(3) of the TCAAA’s Constitution. A Quorum was met, and a motion was placed before the Executive Members resulting in the Order of your Suspension as the President of TCAAA’s (sic).
“Please note the following terms as agreed by the Executive Members:
“1. You have until 1st July 2022 to present to the Executive Membership of the TCAAA’s, (sic) ALL Financial Statements, Transactions and associated invoices and/or receipts from 1st January 2017 to 1st June 2022, to account for the past five and a half years.
“2. In the event, this information is not received or not satisfactory, a Disciplinary Commission will convey to conduct further inquiries into claims alleged of improper management of the TCAAA’s (sic), in accordance with Article 12 of the TCAAA’s (sic) Constitution.
“3. In the in term, you are hereby instructed to handover to Mr. Wilah Gray, 1st Vice President, who, as of 1st June 2022, will be Acting President of the TCAAA’s, (sic) all articles and properties of the TCAAA’s (sic).
“4. You are to cease all business on behalf of the TCAAA’s (sic) with immediate effect, with the exception of being allowed to ratify the Financial Standing of the TCAAA’s, (sic) you are to only communicate with the Executive Membership of this Association in this regard.”
Skippings however, wasted no time in clapping back at the suspension, labeling it unconstitutional, while reputing herself as the constitutionally legitimate president of the local athletics governing body. She also stated that the disseminated information was false and should not be considered worthwhile.
“I am of the understanding that the information stating that I, Edith Skippings, is no longer President of the Turks and Caicos Amateur Association…that information is false news,” Skippings told NewslineTCI.
She added: “You are all aware of the allegations and claims of wrongdoing that is being send around involving me. I have since written to our regional body NACAC, as to all the issues that is going on here in Turks and Caicos within our Association. We will be informed by them as to the next steps.”
The North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association in their June 8 update of its official federations’ list, apparently still recognizes Skippings as one of its two main local representatives and points of contact. The other being TCAA’s General Secretary, Rasalie Ingham-Hall.
Skipping stated that the meeting in which the decision was taken to attempt her ousting did not have a quorum, which goes against the constitution of the TCAAA.
Article 12 of the TCAAA Constitution stated that:
“1. The Quorum at the Annual, Biannual, and Emergency General Meetings shall consist of at least one third (1/3) of the affiliates of TC three A’s and seven (7) members of the Executive, at least one (1) of whom must be a principal officer.
“2. The Quorum at Executive Meetings shall be seven (7) members, at least one (1) of whom must be a principal officer.
“3. The Quorum at Special General Meetings shall be 50% plus one, of the membership of TC three A’s.
“4. In the event of any Meeting of TC three A’s not being held on the first occasion on which it is called, due to the lack of a Quorum, those present at the second meeting shall constitute a quorum.”
It is not clear if a meeting was held prior to the one taken to suspend Skippings, to which she said she was not invited.
The embattled Skippings told NewlineTC that she believes that the quest to eject her from the TCAAA top job stems from a decision taken by her not to allow a member of the executive to travel to a recent meeting because of an ongoing investigation against that member.
She said as a result, the member has started a campaign against her, using other members to do his bidding. She argued that the demand for financial records by the members was nothing more than a red herring masquerading as genuine concern for the well-being of the sport of athletics in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
She hinted that the rift in the national athletics governing body could jeopardize its standing with the regional and world governing bodies.
In the meantime, in not so many words, Skippings has vowed not to backdown from the challenge mounted by the dissident members.
So far, the Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission – the body that oversee all sporting federations in the country – has so far been silent on the issue.