On Target
November 5, 2010
There is hope

If you have given up, and are now at the end of the rope, believing that there cannot be a revival of community sports here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, tie a knot and hold on.{{more}}

Whilst one sunny day does not make a summer, what I saw last week Wednesday at the Stubbs Playing Field represents a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

It was a joy to see persons of all age groups coming together, uninhibited by their talent or lack thereof, enjoying themselves in physical activity.

The fact that persons who are normally reserved found the time to be involved speaks volumes about the reach of the event.

Additionally, the turn out of males was encouraging, as traditionally many would have used the days to imbibe, but gave that up for “more meaningful engagements”.

Surely, the efforts of Jems Progressive Organisation and the South East Development Inc. (SEDI), which jointly put on the Sports Extravaganza, must be commended, as their months of planning and co-ordination paid off.

The fact they could also incorporate a healthy life style component in their programme augurs well for the involvement of the entire being, not just one’s sporting talents, but one’s health.

The two-day set of activities should be the basis for the revival of sports in these communities, which have been dormant over the years because of several reasons.

It may just be a cause for us to use our Independence Day for such fun activities island wide, as they not only keep our communities together, but advance our nationhood.

Could such an activity be penciled in on the national calendar, as usually after the military parade at Victoria Park it’s to each his own?

Stubbs and its environs are not foreign to sportsmen and sportswomen.

Among them are the Mc Lean siblings: Kissinger, Reagan, Golda, and most noted, Nixon, who is undoubtedly the area’s most famed sporting son, having represented the West Indies at tests and One Day Internationals.

His sister Golda medalled at the 1987 Carifta Games, gaining silver in the Under-20 Women’s 3000 m.

The other Mc Leans, who have made their mark on the local sporting landscape, are Reynold in Cricket and Kurt in Bodybuilding.

Helen Harry made a name on the region in field events at the Carifta Games winning a bronze medal in Discus under-17 in Martinique in 1983.

Dawnley Joseph, his son Dawnley Grant, both cricketers; outstanding national Football goal keeper Melvin Andrews, and Dr. Lennox Adams, a former national athlete and the first President of the National Olympic Committee, have come out the bowels of the South East belt, more so Stubbs.

Stubbs was a hive of activity in the 1980’s and 1990’s with several competitions, albeit with limited facilities, held then at the area which is now the Stubbs cemetery. It was there that many epic Cricket and Football matches, goat matches, competitive and invitational matches were played.

In the recent past, the Stubbs Netball competition, held at the school grounds, was a much anticipated annual exercise. That, too, has been out of competition for several years now.

However, they were the starting points for many who moved on to national representation.

Today, Stubbs has an improved playing field, fenced, with dressing rooms and other facilities, which are corner stones for pride and enhanced performances.

Certainly, SEDI and Jems have sown the seeds. Keeping the interests of the people of South East is the next biggest threat, but not impossible or insurmountable.

There is nothing better than creating a homogeneous setting, which some people thrive on, before venturing out on the national sphere.

The entire state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, sportswise, is suffering from poor attendance at national sporting events, especially, mass disciplines, mainly, Track and Field Athletics, Cricket, Netball and Football.

Many have pointed to the absence of a sports culture, and moreso a fall off in the presence of community based teams/clubs.

Therefore, if Stubbs and other such communities are allowed to flourish, then we can be on the road towards a resurgence and ultimately a revival in the fortunes of sports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

But there is no hope in keeping the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.