On Target
May 18, 2007
Too many freeloaders

All across this country there is a bellowing cry for more committed sports administrators.

Like the Marines we need “a few good men”, as several of our sporting organisations, even those at the national level have become stagnated or dormant as persons are not coming forward to take up roles.{{more}}

We are then left in most instances with organisations being run by a few persons with others tagging along making little or no input, while others operate as “boys and girls clubs”. “Cliquism” becomes the order of the day.

Some officers merely seek election to executives in order to enhance their resumes and make themselves marketable.

These freeloaders ensure that they are elected and profiled, then kaput, “I have got what I wanted”. They take advantage of the training course, get the certificates and other paraphernalia . Maybe they go after getting several trips overseas or the other perks that go along with an executive position.

In fact some officers only are visible when there opportunities for extensive travel and per diem are offered. They then no longer have the time to attend meetings or their families are losing from their involvement in the organisation.

Hemorrhaging then sets in and the organisations are left thread bare, leading to many of these bodies being autocratically administered, as the president takes up the role of chief cook and bottle washer, making all the decisions and taking all the praise. They will fight “tooth and nail” to remain at the helm.

This trend has left clubs and associations not accountable as there are no watch dogs. Assets of the organisations then are the property of the remaining officers. If a new executive is voted in, then it’s all about starting from scratch.

Though not new to the Vincentian sporting set up, it has evidently been more pronounced in recent times. How many local sporting bodies have shown any distinct level of longevity among its administrative officials?

Hats off to clubs such as Avenues, Maple, Saints, Radcliffe and Sion Hill which over the years have withstood the test of time.

The emergence of talk radio and fear of being criticised or ridiculed, more educational opportunities for persons to empower themselves, the increase in individualism among other factors, have contributed to the fall away in persons wanting to give of their time.

Sadly, this country is slowly but surely losing that community spirit as people are no longer gratified in using their talents to enhance their villages and by extension their country.

This phenomenon has extrapolated and is getting entrenched into the Vincentian psyche.

Traditional values and beliefs have slipped from our grasp where parents wanted their children to get into sports, hence it followed that they played a critical part in the society.

Volunteerism has turned into a curse word for some people as they see service as burden rather than making a valuable contribution to nation building.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation has instituted a monthly stipend to its officers. Whilst in principle this is accepted, they have set a bench mark to which perspective officers of other sporting units want to measure up.

What is there for me if I join this or that organisation? How am I going to benefit?

Who then suffer are the various sportsmen and women who are looking for guidance and continuity and persons with the stick-ability to provide quality leadership.

The iniquitous culture of chopping and changing executives for the simplest of misjudgments sometimes do not attract “quality” personnel to clubs nor national bodies.

We seem not to want to embrace change and hold to the modus operandi of having persons who are not suited for the office but may have been a past player who served the sport well.

There are no recruitment policies set out in the organisations’constitutions. In fact, on some executives, active players are voted on executives. Long term goals and objectives and time lines set hardly exist among some of our sports bodies.

Emphasis is needed on leadership training for those who are giving of their time to uplift the status of their organisations, thus ensuring growth. Corrective measures must be put in place soon, as many of our clubs and associations are griping as these deficiencies are fast becoming malignant.