On Target
June 10, 2005
Discipline and sports

Sport has been encouraged among all sectors of the society because it instills a sense of discipline in individuals. Sociologists and those knowledgeable on human development have aired their findings on the value of recreational activity to the expanding mind. It helps to produce the rounded individual and those with deep-rooted affinity to physical and mental correlation have long expounded the virtues of involvement in sports.{{more}}

Vincentians have been known for their skepticism, or indifference. We are gifted with the trait of destroying, or undermining. And aspects of discipline have been used to justify someone’s position no matter how outlandish or inconsiderate.

A recent scenario is that involving national allrounder Melissa Billingy. It appears that she will miss out this country’s defence of the West Indies Women’s Federation Senior Cricket title in Jamaica next month.

The reasons are that Billingy failed to apologise to some administrators.

It is a pity that matters of that nature should get in the way of national interest, and the team will suffer because someone in authority wanted to prove a point. Our ability to reason and thrash out matters in an amicable and amiable fashion seems to have disappeared.

Everyone wants to prove that they are the bosses, and anyone else must endure the consequences once they cross the border.

That pattern is not new to SVG. The situation with distance runner Pamenos Ballantyne stands out in glaring fashion. No one takes the time to appreciate one’s preparation for a marathon, but accusations of indiscipline are heaped upon Ballantyne, and those were advanced as reasons for his omission from nomination for awards on the local front.

Fortunately, the narrow outlook is confined to SVG, and Ballantyne’s seizure of the OECS Sports Personality award is a revelation of the old saying: “A prophet has no honour in his own land.”

The war against Ballantyne has fallen into the pattern of a disguised attack on sports personalities who show some semblance of patriotism.

Alarm bells sounded when Skiddy Francis-Crick was named among the Goodwill ambassadors.

Since the naming of the ambassadors, there seems to have been a subtle attack on the recipients, or attempts to get at them.

The challenge seems to have been fuelled by feelings of disgust.

The government has announced a policy that national players must either be working, in school, or undergoing some form of instructional training.

Governments are not known to stage manage or supervise operations of any sporting bodies. And efforts towards enhancing the discipline must be encouraged. But some organisations, that promote sports, must ensure that their efforts are not counter-productive, or that their measures are not for personal or vindictive factors.

There is a clash in body building and fitness, and that feud appears to be taking its toll on growth and continuity of that sport.

Personal and interpersonal skirmishes have been a hallmark of the Football Federation, and the situation is having a lingering effect.

The pattern of indifference pervaded the Volleyball association until the reality of the plight engendered a reactivation.

One hopes that the petty squabbles which instinctively appear to be a Vincentian characteristic do not dampen the efforts of the new volleyball drive.

Perhaps the influence of the Volleyballers’ revival can rub off on those with interest in boxing and hasten the reactivation of the sport.

Just like with Volleyball, boxing has the scope of providing a means of livelihood to many citizens. Our landscape and natural settings have the potential, to develop our economy.

Our athletes, food supply, pure air, provide the basis for the development of world class boxers.

We have to stop punching out one another and ensure that the simple matters, over which we make much fuss, do not become a part of our everyday approach.