On Target
August 31, 2007

Can’t send the fool any further

There was an All Fools Day prank practised years ago called “Send the fool a little further.”

Many persons got pleasure and a kick out of getting others to go around in circles with a written message, taking it from one person to another.{{more}}

With the passage of time, like so many others things, this has drifted out of the Vincentian folklore.

However, today, this prank is being revived by the executive of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation.

The gentlemen and lady have tried this with their proposed staging of a national men’s basketball tournament.

With persons on the mainland starved of basketball for some time, the executive announced earlier this year the staging of the tournament, after an absence of three years.

Unable to get off the ground since, three dates for the commencement were given, but all were followed by postponements. .

The latest date of August 11 was given, as they endeavoured to send the fool a little further. This date has come and gone, yet no word is heard on the next date. Maybe they are trying to conjure up another excuse.

Word is out, though, that a February 2008 date is the next best bet. The staging of General Elections here in December 2005 was proffered for not having a tournament that year.

The executive’s continued make belief by its periodic pronouncements and blarney can no longer find favour with anyone. Their words are taken with a “pinch of salt” by those who follow the sport.

They were able to give some glimmer of hope that something was happening when the President’s Whitsuntide Invitational Competition was staged. This was seen as a precursor to the holding of the long awaited national men’s championships, but everything went back to square one.

So, too, were the much touted three on three competitions which were to be held after Carnival to lead up to the last August date, but never materialised.

To say that some teams and clubs were not ready to have the championships, hence another postponement, indicates a case of the “tail wagging the dog”.

This present executive has shown that it lacks the administrative capacity to take on the role of carrying the mandate of taking basketball to another level.

Lat year, amidst the fiasco that saw the resignations of several members of the executive, I was one of the persons who called for reconciliation. I have since changed my plea, and think it is time that teams and clubs look for new persons who are willing and able to work.

The resigned officers’ positions have been vindicated by the prolonged ineptitude displayed by those who sought to remain in their various portfolios.

How can the Wayne Williams led executive explain to the young basketballers why the Marriaqua Sports Association can stage a successful competition with limited resources and with personnel who know little of the sport?

Similarly, the residents of Canouan have come forward and are staging their own competition.

Doesn’t this occurrence and the continued high quality annual Bequia Tournament put these men to shame or jolt them into action?

Seemingly, they have no conscience or just don’t care about basketball and who their actions affect.

One would have thought that with the acquisition of an administrative facility at the New Montrose Hard court, there have would been some improvement in the way things are done, since this would have acted as a nerve centre.

Sadly, not. Instead, the young basketballers have lost all confidence and trust, and have resigned themselves to just having a sweat on the various hard courts or have their own ad hoc competitions.

The Basketball Federation, with its window dressing, has caught the bout of callousness that has infected other national associations, with no medication being prescribed.

But while the Basketball Federation tries to send the fool a little further, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) is still silent as to a date for the freeing up of the Sion Hill, Arnos Vale and Stubbs Playing Fields for at least limited use for persons in these areas.

While we wait for the good gentlemen and lady to break their silence, the mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field is speaking loudly to the LOC’s lack of planning.

The despicable sight exemplifies total disregard for the people of that community.