This week, the Belize Olympic Association hosted a trio of visitors from the International Olympic Committee Solidarity Committee. They were here to discuss funding for the four year plan leading up to the next Olympics. Every year, IOC representatives visit two countries in each region; this year it was Belize and Nicaragua. And it could not have come at a better time.

That's because for the first time in memory Belize's Olympic Commission is having an election. IT has been a very long time since that happened - which is a direct contravention of IOC bye-laws. But everyone - the media included - has let it slide.

But now, after decades at the helm, Ned Pitts is stepping down, and the IOC Delegates told the media we should not let anything slide again!:

Richard Peterkin, IOC member
"What we are seeing is that we are really here to help. We have a budget for the progenial, this budget has been expanded tremendously. We want to make sure that we start early to start utilizing the funds that is available for training, for coaching, for scholarships and everything so that come 2016 they will really be ready - the athletes will be able to perform better etc. and they would be doing a better job as IOC in spreading Olympic values throughout the country."

Joanna Zipser-Graves
"There is more money for national Olympic committees to take advantage of and we are looking forward to working with the national Olympic committee of Belize to help them develop sports here."

Jules Vasquez
"The issue that immediately arises is will there be transparency of these funds. We know that the by-laws pf the IOC charter for IOCs that is by-laws 27 and 28 state that there should be annual reports which have not have had in this country. There should be elections every 4 years which we have not had in this country. We will be having an election finally next month. Will there be transparency and accountability in managing these funds?"

Richard Peterkin, IOC member
"We've made a strong point that there has to be better and more, we say that to all IOCs, we encourage them to have audited accounts and to share that with all the federations and the government so that there will be complete transparency - people will get a much better idea of how the money is being used. If they apply for the programs that are available - they could be looking much as 1.2 million US dollars for the next 4 years. Come with that the accountability and transparency which we are now assured that they will in fact follow."

Jules Vasquez
"After a quite long time we are having elections here for a new NOC."

Richard Peterkin, IOC member
"I think you should be excited. I think there is a strong role for the media in this entire process and that is to make sure that the people that are being elected to various bodies; national federations, NOC, do their job and if they don't do their job you should say so because we at the IOC we monitor the news all over the world."

The election is set for February 16th.

Channel 7