On Target
October 26, 2012
Take it on board too

THE THEME for St Vincent and the Grenadines’ 33rd Independence anniversary is “Celebrating Vincentian national pride”.

We seem just to see the annual themes as simply a conglomerate of words to keep in line with the commemoration of the event, which comes around this time of the year.{{more}}

The themes come and go, and, for the next 11 months, dissipate into the memory bank of eternal forgetfulness, as no concerted effort is made to live the meanings.

It may not be coincidental either that the members of the Roman Catholic church here two weeks ago launched its year of faith initiative, with particular emphasis on strong family and stewardship.

The two celebrations, one national and the other, defined by a particular religious denomination, have national
spread and are universal in reach.

Both focuses are not only timely, but provide part of the prescription for the curing of the ailments affecting sports here.

And, certainly if taken on board, both should be made the national sporting mantras; one could see at least a movement in the upward direction for sports here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Indeed, this is what sport needs, as in reality, things are heading in the direction which is counter-progressive.
And, all and sundry are guilty of the current state of sports, through their very actions — their passive input, their indifference or their destructive intents.

Whilst there is not much by way of performances on the field of play, as the almost parched pasture of success is extending day by day, some semblance of national pride and stimulated national cohesionhave to be the oasis of hope.

This has become a necessity all round if we are to excavate ourselves from the pit which has been dug by our own hands, our thoughts and activities.

And it must go full circle, from the ministries and other government agencies directly involved in the policy-making as it relates to sports, to the various national associations, to the spectators, and the active participants in the various sporting disciplines in which Vincentians, home and abroad, engage.

This national pride extends itself to those who, for political differences, personality clashes, past run-ins and other selfish causes, determine to put themselves before the sport and ultimately before their country.

Unfortunately, the deep-rooted party politics has served as the most debilitating feature, as no one wants to give or ask for quarter, chained in their support of their party.

This intrusion of the political divide serves only one objective: to further polarise our people.

The trickle-down effect then penetrates the national associations, as little is achieved if the partisan elements do not weigh in.

But, as the trek in the pathway of obstruction is detailed, one wonders if the members of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation really have an iota of national pride, when they continue to hold the sport at ransom by their spiteful actions of retarding those who are willing by simply failing to function.

Sailing in the same ship with the unpatriotic members of this lifeless bodybuilding organisation are those who have put table tennis under siege, blindfolded it, and tied its hands firmly behind its back.

At this time of reflection, introspection and nationalism, let us ask ourselves, why do the Australians and English guard the Ashes series between the cricket nations as a sacred contest?

We, in these parts, sometimes scoff at the South Americans and Central Americans, who paint themselves in their countries’ national colours and support their teams with near fanaticism.

The recent London Olympic Games showed us all what it meant to people, who will drape themselves in their national flags et al, without inhibitions.

Why do athletes sob at winning a medal for his or her country or performing a heroic act on the world stage?

Why then can’t we adopt similar practices?

Let then that missing element of national pride go beyond simply wearing the national colours and other paraphernalia as merely fashion statements.

Let that faith we profess to possess see us through, “what e’er the future brings.”

Happy sporting Independence to all!