On Target
December 17, 2010
Ah holding yo to yo word

The hectic and frenetic pace of the General Elections may have diverted the attention of many from some of the promises made by the current ruling Unity Labour Party administration, which last Monday was returned to office, for a third consecutive five-year term.{{more}}

But for the record’s sake, and as a reminder of those who did not read the party’s two Manifestos, this column is holding the government to its word in relation to the promises offered to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines pertaining to sports.

It is interesting that heading the list of priorities for the next five years, as written in the Youth Manifesto, is the building of the National Stadium.

Youths and the grown-ups alike have been clamouring for a number of years for such a facility, and the promises have been stop starts, on the front burner, on the back burner approach.

Yes, with a new mandate, let us see you realize that for the young people of the blessed land.

Remember your manifesto prefaced the projections and promise with “will”, and that translates to must and compulsory.

We are surely behind you in this regard, and nothing short of its delivery this time around will be accepted, as your priority should be to satisfy the young people whom you care for dearly.

Also promised is the construction of a quality Basketball and Netball facility and gymnasium, through the National Lottery, at the site of the Anglican School Annex.

This sort of facility, again, has been a hue and cry for the associations which are involved in indoor sports: Basketball, Netball, Table Tennis, Volleyball, and Boxing.

How have those disciplines’ local competitions over the years suffered from the adverse weather conditions?

How much have other regional territories been able to bargain for competitions, and host international teams, because they have the luxury of such facilities?

St. Vincent and the Grenadines needs such a facility badly, and it being second on the list of promises, we, the sports loving public, are holding you accountable to your words.

Therefore, the promise is for you to keep your word and see it come to fruition.

Additionally, you have promised to build more community recreational facilities, including the one proposed for Roseau / Walvaroo.

Indeed, such is welcome, as several of our communities are lacking places for the young children to play sports and take part in other forms of recreation.

It must have been a drawback for the many housing projects established since 2001, that they have not had areas designated for playgrounds or some basic infrastructure which promotes healthy living and social interaction.

Also on the list of things to be done in the next five years is assisting in bringing quality coaches in the various sporting disciplines, including Football coaches and players from Brazil.

Again, with the foreign relations established within the past two terms, the relevant personnel did not capitalize enough on the opportunities to strengthen the ties with the technically rich expertise as exists in places such as Cuba.

Critical to all the promises is the implementation in a focused way of the National Sports Policy Action Plan.

This, too, is among the shopping list of items to be had.

Yes, there have been attempts made to have this document gain flesh, but not to much avail. It is true to say that some aspects of the policy have seen implementation, but the significance has not impacted that the real meaning of this all important document be felt or seen active.

Much has been left to talk, and little by way of true meaning.

Let us see that you maintain your track record in other sectors over the past nine and three quarter years.

Sports, as it has been touted, is part of the centrality of national development which it should be, but at times the attendant actions are not compatible.

So, this time around, do not leave behind any unfinished tasks.

There is the unfinished task of completely removing the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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