The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture recently revealed a partial copy of its contract with Charles Whittaker.
‘His ‘pro-social’ contract affords him a stipend as an elite athlete. All elite athletes [in Cayman] have in their contracts an agreement to be ‘pro-social’ agents. That is they have to go out and talk to kids and basically stay involved in their community,’ said the Hon. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Alden McLaughlin. In the contract, it was overtly stated the various obligations Whittaker is expected to meet.
Among those commitments, Whittaker is required to represent the Ministry by visiting schools in Cayman and give boxing demonstrations at least three times per year for a minimum of one hour per visit.
Also, Whittaker is to hold boxing events a minimum of two times per annum in the Cayman Islands. Official results of his representation and participation in those events are to be submitted to the Ministry within seven days after the event.
A draft of the 2006/07 Budget reiterated some of Whittaker’s obligations. In it, Whittaker is supposed to attend ‘pro-social youth events’. He is required to represent Cayman in sporting occasions plus attend community and school events to promote a healthy lifestyle. Whittaker is also to develop a role model image for the youth through the promotion of a ‘pro-social behaviour’.
Whittaker expressed the level of frustration that comes with his feeling that he is being treated unjustly by government.
‘Government complains that I do not fulfil my obligations. Yet they never invite me to any youth-related events. Whenever people in the community call me to talk to a few young people I always make time to do it. Government has refused to use me for whatever reason.
‘It’s frustrating. Boxing is not just about two guys hitting each other. Boxing is about discipline, respect and learning lessons in life. I want to make Cayman a better community.’
The partial copy of Whittaker’s contract was given to the Caymanian Compass, according to the Ministry, in an effort to make clear government’s side of its relationship with Whittaker.
Minister McLaughlin further addressed the government’s stance on Whittaker’s situation.
He says that government is committed to backing Whittaker in the future. Minister McLaughlin said that he personally has no ill feelings towards Whittaker.
‘I personally hold no malice towards Charles. Whatever the ministry or myself can do for Charles, we will do it. We will continue to support Charles Whittaker,’ Minister McLaughlin stated.
Minister McLaughlin was not specific about what the level or the nature of support government will afford the boxer.
However he did indicate it would at least be via a steady salary.