On Target
December 14, 2012
Revival time

There was once a time when there were communities stretched across St Vincent and the Grenadines, which were bastions of sports and had a trademark imprint on the social life of many.

Noteworthy is the North Leeward area, which hosted the St Vincent Co-operative Bank Under-15 Cricket competition.{{more}}

Undoubtedly, that competition was the launch pad of young cricketers and played a significant role in the development of cricket on the mainland.

This annual event, an initiative of the North Leeward Sports Association, fed the St Vincent and the Grenadines under-15 team with players.

And, many have gone on to greater things: national representation and even on to the West Indies team.

Among those who got their initiation and enhanced their abilities were Miles Bascombe, Akil Granderson, Javon Samuel, Luke Browne, Calvert Hooper, and Emil Anthony.

Apart from the cricket, the North Leeward competition looked after the holistic development of the players. Prior to the start of the competition, a church service was held in different villages in North Leeward to usher in the competition.

Also, at the end of the match, the player of the match was required to give an interview. This indeed gave them an opportunity to improve on their oral expression and laid the basis of what appears on the regional and international scene at the end of cricket matches.

Sadly, with all the positives that accumulated for some years now, this competition has been out of operation. Instead, the organisers have opted to go the way of a senior T-20 tournament.

Whilst the senior tournament is fast becoming a competitive and anticipated affair, the North Leeward Sports Association should look seriously into the revival of the Under-15 competition.

Please be reminded that when that competition was in its prime, St Vincent and the Grenadines was tops in the Windwards at that age group tournament.

Likewise, the Marriaqua Sports Association was always active with the staging of its football, netball, basketball, and softball cricket competitions. However, the same cannot be said within the last three years.

Whilst one is aware of the challenges confronting the Marriaqua Valley in terms of some of its sporting facilities, including the collapse of the part of the perimeter fence at the Cane Playing Field and the attending issues with the hardcourt at the Richland Park Playing Field, these should not be excuses for this prolonged inactivity.

Yes, there was a village football competition hosted earlier this year at the refurbished Cane End Playing Field, but more must be done.

Coincidentally, the decline in sporting activities in the Marriaqua Valley came soon after the death of the livewire — the indomitable Larry Bascombe.

His physical disability enabled him to dedicate most of his time to the development of sports in the valley.

Before his eternal departure from this earth, Bascombe had indicated his intentions to have competitive road races in the community.

Those who have the will and the skill in the Marriaqua Valley should once again take the baton and run with it, and get the shows back on the road.

And, the former bastion of sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sion Hill, has been too long in a protracted state of minimal sporting activities.

The hive and flurry of sports which consumed the time of the community have almost dissipated, leaving behind a trickle, as the ones who experienced those good times, can only rely on their memories to savour.

Today, only the Sion Hill Village Football League and the Sion Hill Netball Tournament have remained on the calendar. And, incidentally, there were none of these competitions — the football because of the state of the playing field and netball, for various other reasons.

Times have changed and no one expects that the aforementioned two organizations to be a carbon copy of what obtained in the past. But, with a little effort, they can provide their hope and guidance to some of the flagging members of their youth population.