On Target
May 14, 2010
Can we get any lower?

Can sports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines sink lower than it is currently?

Whatever the response, there is surely a lot of work needed to reverse the present situation.{{more}}

Having attended what was supposed to be two major national events over the past week, I briefly stopped and thought how far down we have gone in interest in sports here.

Firstly, there was the National Athletics Championships at the Arnos Vale Playing Field on Saturday.

As it was, it was just a bigger mini meet put on by Team Athletics SVG.

Participation must have been at an all time low, as only the very faithful turned up at the venue with their athletes. It is accepted that over the years, the schools accounted for a major chunk of participants. This time around, some of the expected contingents were absent.

But are we making enough effort to ensure that athletics clubs or “clubs” in general operate all year round and are not seasonal entities?

If in the first place one is called a club, then seasonality will never come into the equation.

But the host association must take some blame for the general approach towards the staging of the annual exercise.

There were few track officials, an absence of a public address system, as well as no starter’s gun to get the races going.

These were unpardonable sins committed by the organisers of the event.

So one can also see where we are going wrong in the first instance, as that indifferent approach obviously may have become infectious and persons resign themselves to the “wey e be e be” attitude.

Secondly, last Monday saw the deciding match in the National Club Netball Tournament, between Maple and Mitres/TRAC.

Yes, it did happen, for those who cared to remember and to those who follow the sport.

But the staging of this match really drove home the reality of how far Netball has sunk.

Set aside the lack of pre-match hype and publicity, the stand at the Kingstown Netball Centre had about 200 persons, and that is exaggerating it a bit.

Some years ago, that match was the talk of the town, everyone marked it on his/ her calendar, the venue would be bursting at the seams, there was an atmosphere with chanting, and other musical forms. But last Monday, it was just like any other match in the tournament.

Agreed that all sports are in regression, but the turn out last Monday took me aback with utmost surprise and disappointment.

The organizers of this national Netball showpiece should not leave things to chance by relying on the daily sportscasts to get the information out, as their product must get that needed support.

Again, they fell down in this aspect, especially with Netball really in need of a dose of re-energisation.

While the present Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association is relatively new, no excuse can be forwarded for not making more effort to market the sport, especially the national competition.

But have we all thrown our hands up in the air and are letting nature take its course? This, if so, should never be the course of action.

The best time for anyone to fight back is when his/ her back is against a wall.

Undoubtedly, all sports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are backing against that proverbial wall. Therefore, the time is to fight back and not retreat any further!

But the sports administration first of all must possess that will to turn things around and bring back participation and the crowds to national events.

Still crowding those in authority to completely remove the “Mound” at the Sion Hill Paying Field.

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