On Target
February 26, 2010
Appoint one soon or…

This column is once more calling on the relevant authorities to quickly appoint a Research Officer in Sports or we will be lost in history.{{more}}

Yes, this country has a rich history of Sports, but most of it lies in persons’ heads. Therefore, recording and documentation of the past is necessity.

Just last weekend, this country lost a former national footballer and Football administrator, Sylvester “Scobie” Taylor. One wonders how much of Taylor’s knowledge of Football in his hey day in the 50’s and 60’s was put on paper for posterity. Not much, I believe.

At the opening of the Grass Roots Tennis Club last Saturday, Bertille “Silky” DaSilva and Michael Nanton both gave a brief chronology of the development of Tennis in the post World War II era. But again, that rests in both men’s heads.

The same can be said of several sports, as not much attempt has been made to ensure that proper archives are kept.

A similar situation exists even at the Department of Sports and Physical Education, which should be an information gateway, a place where past performances can be researched at the click of a mouse.

At local Cricket matches, the likes of former national cricketer Vincent “Killer” Hadaway and others will give accounts of past Cricket matches in vivid detail.

Their photographic memories are amazing, as they are able to recount incidents in graphic detail. But God forbid that such persons pass on before their knowledge is documented.

And, the list is not exhaustive of those with a reservoir of untapped sporting history. Lloyd Lewis, Owen “Manning” Jackson, Carlton Hall, Gloria Ballantyne, among others, are still with us and still have their faculties in tact. Therefore, let us use their wisdom and experience to good effect.

It is pathetic that in 2010, with all the advancement made in technology, that local history of sports is in the main oral.

It is often disheartening that to gather information on the past, one always has to seek out persons who you think may have knowledge of the area of your research. Sometimes you are unsuccessful, as their whereabouts are often unknown.

Also, there is always a mad rush for information when someone of national sporting fame is being honoured or suddenly dies. The information gathered is often scrappy and at times inadequate and does not do justice to the individual’s contribution to the sporting national landscape.

Additionally, how many international caps do our footballers have? Those statistics are only available if the players themselves keep personal records.

And, it can go on and on in all sports, as hardly any discipline is equipped in this pertinent area of record keeping.

Similarly, there are droves of old photos of sporting events held by persons of yesteryear that need to be preserved and archived. All it takes is the initiative by the powers that be to get the process off the ground or be ever doomed to guessing and hear say.

But the start must come from the individual association level, as they, too, are woefully deficient in having records and statistics available with just a telephone call or an e-mail.

But the research must go beyond the association level. The few club houses that are around and the various learning resources centres dotted across the island should be adorned with photos of persons who have left a mark in sports in that locale.

In this way, the young sports men and women will be inspired to strive for fame, and at the same time learn more of those who have set the pace.

The garnering of such sporting historical facts and artefacts then will be the forerunner of a St. Vincent and the Grenadines Hall of Fame. This in my estimation is long overdue.

Also long overdue is the complete removal of the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.