Barbadosí Leading Newspaper

King pushing against Weekes
Date February 01, 2008
by Ezra Stuart
WORLD's draughts champion Ronald "Suki" King is pushing for new moves to be made in local draughts.

WORLD'S DRAUGHTS CHAMPION Ronald "Suki" King is pushing for new moves to be made in local draughts. King, the reigning world's Go-As-You-Please champion, contends that the Barbados Draughts Association (BDA), under the leadership of president, Olwyn Weekes, is not making the right moves to enhance the sport.

King, who has formed a new body, the Barbados Checkers and Draughts Federation, said the BDA's last annual general meeting was postponed while the association doesn't have a secretary or treasurer. "It seems to be one man [is] running the show and nobody can vote him out," King claims.

"We need a new president to push the draughts because right now, we don't even get any grants because of how the organization is being run. I donated ten boards to 20 schools just to keep the interest in the sport among the children," he said.

Last time King said that the Gordon's Gin Club Tournament was the last time there was a sponsored local draughts tournament. "There have been no sponsored tournaments for ten years.

There is no Barbados Open, no magazines, no newsletter, no website, no information about draughts. Jack [Francis] and I still have to foot our own bill to go overseas for tournaments," King said.

But Weekes countered King by saying that draughts is as active as it was before and that the association's annual general meeting has been convened for February 10 in the Meeting Place at the Frank Collymore Hall.

"Every Sunday, we play draughts at Barker's Place in Bush Hall. The association also had a tournament about four [ago] weeks where prize-money was paid out, but "Suki" is a big king, he doesn't play with little people," Weekes said. In response to King, Weekes also said the BDA has an executive council while Michael Barker has been acting as secretary and the treasurer is Wilfred Fredericks.

Legality questioned Weekes also questioned the legality of the federation formed by King saying it was not recognized by the National Sports Council.

"We get a subvention every year from Government. The association just got $3,000 but King goes about asking for funds for his association which only exists on paper. He doesn't have any members," charged Weekes.

"Since 1997, he had this over-weaning ambition to be president of Barbados Draughts Association and he has been following that path, but he can't succeed. Every year, I beat him at the election even though he goes running around at the last minute trying to get people to become members so they can vote for him," Weekes added.

In defense of his stewardship, Weekes said he has written to Government, requesting a grant of $21,000 to fund a development training programmer for draughts players which would see them being taught English, mathematics, computer studies and other subject areas.

February 21, 2008 - NationNews -"King nes draughts head" (2 articles)

July 10, 2008 - NationNews -"King seeking $33,000 for 2008 Campaign"

August 29, 2008 - The Lake County News-Herald -"King of the game"