On Target
March 2, 2012
Where is the co-ordination?

Last weekend, St. Vincent and the Grenadines had a bellyful of sporting activities to dine on, so much so that many persons here did not get to feast from what was offered on the menu.{{more}}

There was the opening of the National Lotteries Authority National Club Basketball Tournament, the commencement of the Biabou Nine-A-Side Football League; the Opening of the inaugural West St. George Primary Schools’ Cricket Competition, as well as the staging of the first Swimming Championships at the recently opened Shrewsbury Pool.

They were accompanied by the regular Football, Cricket and Softball competitions which are on the go, among others.

But the most significant was the hosting of the National Lotteries Authority Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) Male Under-16 Volleyball Tournament.

This was a regional tournament, hence it should have been the flagship event on the weekend, but it was not, as the local organisers failed to promote the event as such.

Surely, we as a host nation missed the mark in making a better impression which would have put us in good stead to sell ourselves better as worthy organizers.

Very few persons knew about the tournament because of lack of publicity, hence, the tournament got submerged by the other established one.

Whilst one accepts that Volleyball is not one of the major sporting disciplines here, many of the local volleyballers themselves did not patronize their own sport.

The end result was that Vincentians got robbed of viewing some fairly good Volleyball from the youngsters from French St. Martin, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda and host St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

That was not to say all went wrong with the tournament, but better could have be done, as it was evident that the few functioning members of the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Volleyball Association could not carry the weight alone, as they lack the capacity in some areas.

This column has always advocated that national associations, when hosting regional or international tournaments, seek help in areas where they are deficient.

In this age of modern technology, any little slip up reaches the wider world in an instant. It must be remembered that you cannot stop anyone from firing bullets at you, but do not provide the ammunition for them so to do.

Also suffering from lack foresight and operational efficiency was the opening of the National Club Basketball Tournament on Sunday, which coincided with the closing of the ECVA Male Under-16 Volleyball Tournament.

What a travesty it was to see both the Volleyball and Basketball tournaments sponsored by the National Lotteries Authority having a clash, with both competing for sporting space simultaneously.

For Basketball, it was at least a start for them, as they have endured travails in getting the tournament off the ground.

And, one may say better late than never, but what was passed as an opening of a national tournament, leaves much to be desired.

So what we had was a spate of events last weekend, and this weekend, the sporting public has to search to find some place to spend the leisure time and give morale support to our local sportsmen and women.

This same thing happens at the closing ceremonies, as late last year, there were several clashes, mainly in the area Netball and Softball competitions and, as expected, some were clutched deep into the palms of oblivion.

What, therefore, is needed is a co-ordinated approach towards the staging of events, especially the openings and closings.

It is imperative that associations knock heads together and chart a course, whereby each one will get that much needed national spotlight.

With our limited personnel to give coverage via the media, some will not get a look in, as there is so much one can do in this regard.

Maybe through the National Olympic Committee or the National Sports Council, a calendar for all associations could be drawn up and circulated so we can have a smoother operations regarding co-ordination of events.

Getting things like these near right will go a long way in assisting in the resuscitation of sports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.