On Target
December 4, 2009

How ironic?

“A house divided against itself shall not stand”. Found in the Gospel of St. Matthew 12: 25, an undeniable Biblical teaching.

Harping on the iniquitous and corrosive culture of personality difference in sports, and the inability or decisive choice not to cooperate, may sound like flogging a dead horse, but history must be recorded for future reference points.{{more}}

The staging of the finals, and events prior to the closure of the Coca Cola secondary schools’ football competition, gave conspicuous evidence that all is not well within the walls of the Division of Sports in the Ministry of National Mobilisation etc. Maybe, just maybe, the term “Division” was prophetic nomenclature when the idea of establishing such a unit came about.

The body language and the almost nonchalant approach of some members of the division points towards a house totally divided.

Prior to the Football final, it was clear that some persons had washed their hands and feet from the happenings of that competition, and there was a tinge of unconcern and indifference with the Netball segment which finished two weeks before.

It was as if to each his own.

As it appeared, no one wanted to take the collective responsibility for whatever shortcomings were there in the administration of the competitions.

The marriage between the Ministry of Education and the Division of Sports has once again given birth to another fairly well run football competition.

However, on the day of the Football finals, last week Friday, there were indeed some hiccups in the presentation ceremony which saw the trophies arriving late, as uncertainty reigned about what should have been done in the interim.

Sadly, there were some audible remarks that underlined the divisions in the two ministries. Too, they were consumed by those who at times are cast aside as ‘rude’.

Undoubtedly, members of the Division of Sports are blessed with a wealth of technical abilities and know-how which are needed in the development of sports at the schools’ level, which over time will extrapolate into the wider Vincentian sporting community.

It was only a few months ago that the friction that existed between the Division of Sports and some personnel of the Ministry of Education seemed to have been addressed .

But, today, it is obvious that it is an added spin, as in- house intolerance is brewing.

Man management is indeed not an easy undertaking, as varying personalities, old hurts, unforgiving, and that human element of getting back at each other come into play.

Therefore, civility, tolerance, forbearance and the willingness to agree to disagree for the benefit of sports and the many fickle young people that they serve, if nothing else, should be the impetus for co-operation.

Today it is Football; tomorrow it can be another discipline that can be affected by this lack of co-operation.

Those at the helm are the ones to seek out the underlying cause and try to nip it. But is that possible?

It is also ironic that at the schools’ level, many have been clamouring over the years for the use of the best facilities, but when it finally came about the standard of play did not match up.

No fault of the youngsters, though, but an indictment of the system which promotes crash courses for many of our young footballers.

The onus is now on those in charge, inclusive of the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, to put the systems in place to rescue school Football, which has been traversing a slippery slope for some years and no rein check has been made on it.

No letting up, too, on the continued presence of that “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

email: kingroache@yahoo.com