On Target
May 20, 2005

Sports & Culture

The aspect of politics and sports seemed to have generated some interest. In deed that list may be far from complete, and new names will be unearthed as time progresses.

The same intensity may not obtain for this situation. But I would venture to reflect on some sporting and cultural icons. My mind drifts to one Samuel ‘sparrow’ Duncan. He still stands out as one of the nation’s most colourful characters. A self- assured Vincentian, Sparrow as he was affectionately called, cut a dapper figure on the cricket field. {{more}}His style of play was testimony of the genuine Vincentian spirit. It was one of complete self-belief. Sparrow always displayed a broad – minded outlook, with a great degree of belief in himself. And it exuded in his performances. Sparrow was one of those classical cricketers, capable of attacking the biggest name bowlers and also with an immaculate defense if the occasion merited.

He was a decent medium pacer, knowledgeable of the art of swing bowling, and he had a mental capacity that enabled him to out wit many an opponent.

Sparrow was a drummer of high calibre entertainer. Sparrow maintains his respect from fans and admirers who have known him over the years, and even those who have grown to know him in recent times.

At one time, I felt that in order for one to become a good calypsoniain, one must be a goalkeeper first. That was when Winston Soso and Cyril ‘Scorcher’ Thomas put down their gloves and took up the mike. Both had proven their agility between the bars and have gone on to become cultural ambassadors of the highest order. And their careers have spoken for themselves.

Check the of hits that both have unleashed over the years. And in different styles, Soso, and Scorcher have etched their name to become pillars of nation building.

I have tremendous admiration for Gosnel ‘GC’ Cupid. Cupid has represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Windwards at Cricket. His football skills are well known, on par with his cricketing ability.

But that’s not the end of GC’s cultural diversity. He is a calysonian of some acclaim with some royalty to show for it. And for good measure, GC is a skilled pannist who has shown his versatility in no uncertain terms.

It brings to mind former West Indies speedster Curtley Ambrose. He was known to have fiddled with the bass guitar while in the dressing room for the West Indies cricket team. Former captain Richie Richardson, whose guitar skills helped to set the right tone for many a West Indies team success, inspired him. It is perhaps a pity that more sportsmen do not demonstrate that type of dexterity.

Sports and culture have always been an integral part of the regional foundation. Many athletes have revealed their artistry outside the field of play, and the combination has served to uncover the genius in many an individual.

It is easy to see the correlation between sports and culture for the Caribbean has produced a number of citizens who simply use their environmental conditions to adjust to the demands of life. And you can expect the trend to continue.