On Target
January 30, 2009
Making awards ceremonies rewarding

“Do not let your good be evilly spoken about”.

This is a Biblical teaching that is not only profound, but one which cannot be disputed or found wanting.

So it is good as a reward for one’s hard work, an occasion of glamour, and other trappings, always give top performers in Sports a time to really savour another moment of their winnings and really and truly appreciate their effort.{{more}}

Sadly, not many sporting bodies here choose such events to pay homage to their athletes.

But some associations do and they must be commended. However, better can be done, as always .

Team Athletics SVG, is among the few which staged its annual recognition recently, but fell, in my estimation, below the standards attained in previous years.

It was a sure let down to have someone of the status of Amadeo Francis, a top regional athletics official present, but a small fraction of the many intended recipients present. These athletes missed out on an opportunity to interface with a person of his standing in the world of Athletics.

More so, it was lost opportunity for them to get a sumptuous mental three course meal on which to dine on for the rest of their lives.

Team Athletics SVG must get a zero rating for its feeble attempt to ensure that the athletes were in attendance, as I am aware that several athletes who were slated to receive awards that Saturday afternoon were not informed of the event taking place.

It might be a case of poetic justice or a deliberate strategy, as the venue would have proven inadequate if all of the awardees were present.

Either side of the coin, a middle passage must be found, as all who shone during the last year’s athletics season were deserved a place in the spotlight.

But the athletics body is not alone is this regard, as the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association’s annual exercise is suffering from that same sort of brain damage. The latter’s show last December exposed the continued slippage of the meaning and significance of awarding excellence.

Many cricketers treat this ceremony with the slightest of respect. Many turn up at the hall inappropriately attired. But again, example is the best teacher at times, as what you hand out is what you will receive when your hand goes forth.

I have maintained over the years that such occasions are worthwhile, but must be handled properly by the parent bodies.

This sort of slipshod approach often rubs off and trickles down on the National Sports Council’s annual National Sports Awards, which for the past three years has lacked lustre.

If the associations do not put a handle on these events, then we will revert to the “ caba -caba” approach of handing out trophies immediately after events.

Adding gala and panache to such ceremonies helps to lift the image of the sport, the athletes, and gives a sense of professionalism.

The Marriaqua Sports Association, some years ago, started to add some flair to its awards for the major competitions conducted under its aegis. But it did not last as long as “Miss Janie fire”.

This column in a previous writing then referred to the MSA’ s decision as a “backward” step, and still maintains such a position, as it allowed the tail to wag the dog.

Once deemed a good move was shelved after the MSA’s executive bowed to the few nay sayers and the tail wagged the dog.

If national sports associations are serious about lifting their game, then each should at the end of every year internally reward their top performers. Hence, the various winners should automatically go forth to the National Sports Awards, which should be the crème de la crème.

But that, too, needs a fillip of its own.

We are at the end of January, and no word is out on the date for which is supposed to be the marquee event for rewarding the nation’s top performers, over the last calendar year.

Again, this awards ceremony, although well meant, should have a fixed date, for instance, the third Saturday in January; so one should not have to wonder or await a release from the NSC as to the date and venue of its staging.

This form of Merry Go Round must at some point come to a standstill and a straight path towards the elevation of standards.

But the circle of demand is being maintained for the removal of that mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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