On Target
January 5, 2007
Cut the rhetoric

Once sports is seen as “sports”, St Vincent and the Grenadines will always play second fiddle to our opponent.

And this has manifested itself in the year just past.

For years sports, and by extension physical education, is not seen as a vehicle for national development. In fact in some quarters sports is regarded as a nuisance.{{more}}

While we pay lip service to these aspects, the country is fast being overtaken by others who have recognised the economic potentials of sports.

We do not have to look far to see what some of our local sportsmen who have made it on the international scene have achieved financially and otherwise, raising their standard of living.

But the problem is deep rooted, as we lack a sports culture, a binding national sports policy or even an appreciation for sports and physical education.

In our school system students are withdrawn from Physical Education or “games” classes as a form of punishment. This has been going on for some time. Why aren’t students denied of mathematics or science subjects, when they break the school rules?

The recent attempts of appointing persons to assist in the schools’ physical education programme have not made much impact as in most cases it has been business as usual.

How often are our national sporting heroes’ achievements good enough to make the front page or back page of any of the three local weekly newspapers?

In the distribution of the ministerial portfolios over the years, sports, whether by accident, design or priority has always been placed last. It is always, the “Ministry of this or that and Sports”. Rewind your memory and you will see.

Yet one government minister often referred to sports as being placed in the “centrality” of government’s policy, we are yet to see the fruits of this statement.

Our ministers of sports over the years have promised our sportsmen and sportswomen much, but have delivered little.

They often waste opportunities when addressing our sporting personnel at functions. Instead of inspiring them with meaningful messages, they politicise the occasions with their blarney.

Conversely those blessed with sporting talents must also raise their standard of performance, deportment and willingness to reach higher levels of excellence.

Each year at this time, many national sporting bodies indulge in the exercise of retreats, projections and blueprints with aloofness as they look forward to the upcoming 12 months only to be forgotten at the next sunrise, as they rewind to square one.

As we look forward to the next 12 months, let’s cut the rhetoric and get down to action.