On Target
March 24, 2005
Volleyballers want to come home

Time was when Volleyball ranked high on the list of choice of sport for many a Vincentian. The standard of play exhibited by the nation’s crop of players caused opposing squads to take notice of their potential. The ladies in particular were on the fringe of regional championship, with the St. Lucian all-round dominance thwarting their bid for conquest.{{more}}

Interest in the game overlooked the shortage of adequate facilities that surrounded the sport, and efforts to play Volleyball ensured that every potentially available land space was used to maximum effect. Even though the game did not have the in-depth widespread national appeal, the pockets where it flourished guaranteed its sustainability for some time.

But some snags seemed to have surfaced in the operation of Volleyball here and indeed the OECS, and the game has taken a prodigious nose dive. Inspite of that, there seems to be a cadre of die-hard volleyball fanatics, determined to keep the sport alive. But the lack of a home for Volleyball, or even an acceptable place where enthusiasts can gather to keep the game afloat, is making the realisation of their dream a long nightmare.

The Kingstown Preparatory School yard used to be and to some extent still serves, as the de facto base of operations. But that is subject to many vagaries, some of which can put paid to the opportunity for continuing a practice session, or for use of the compound in the first place.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the world over are awaking everyday to the benefits of sports. Participation by its citizens rebound to a more healthy and productive nation. That can never be overstated.

Volleyball is one of those activities that require very little land space, unlike some other major aspects of physical engagement. Beach volleyball has grown into being a big event in some quarters, and with the idea of sports tourism taking foothold, and of particular relevance and application to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it has been disappointing that Volleyball is not fulfilling its role as one of the pillars of this country’s sports tourism policy.

It is a high energy, high intensity, and explosive sport, in the vein that the bubbling Caribbean personality likes to indulge. And there are climatic factors suitable for the penetration and perpetuation of the sport.

The psychological legacy of lack of cooperation, or tendency for malice and spite, must not influence anyone and cause them to keep the sport in dormancy. Youngsters at school are awaiting the guidance to latch onto their area of specialty. With our beaches, strong, physical and naturally endowed athletes, Volley ball is as good an area as any to ensure the development of well rounded sporting and academically inclined citizens. We have to find the means to channel the energies of our continuing generation.

Someone has to answer the call. There are persons keen on the development of volleyball. Those with capacity to respond have to come forward. The construction and allocation of demarcation of a spot where volleyballers can gather will go a long way in contributing to the nation’s progress. For with Volleyball in full flow, only better options can emerge for St. Vincent and the Grenadines already pinpointed as a reservoir of latent sporting talent.