On Target
December 28, 2012

Hoping for better in 2013

The past 12 months have been another agonizing period for those who were hoping to see a lift in performances, attitudes, returns and a general 180 degrees turnabout in sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Unfortunately, that hope has been deferred once again, and one just has to let the past guide us in the coming year, 2013.

One had to look hard and long to sift out someone whose efforts stood out as being near acceptable standards of achievement.

Again, there was little to cheer about, whilst there was much to complain about; much to be listed as under-achievements and some readily never to be entertained in our memory banks.

The achievement of Team Crew in lifting the inaugural regional Guinness Street Football title in Guyana in June ignited some flames of nationalism in some who cared to acknowledge the feat.

Likewise, the return of the national under-23 netball team to the pinnacle of sub-regional netball was a welcomed attainment, granted the title had eluded the Vincentians’ grasp since 2007.

Also the copping of the Winlott Windwards T-20 competition by St Vincent and the Grenadines hyped up the nation for a while, but this was deflated with the team failing to make it four in a row in the two-day competition.

Swimming got a major boost with the commissioning of the much-needed pool at Shrewsbury House in Ratho Mill.

Track and field was again decorated by several programmes, meets and the like, but returnswise, we were empty-handed.

We made a no show at CARIFTA and created little impression at the CAC Juniors.

Not forgetting, we participated in the London Olympics.

Football got a jack-up with renewed crowd following at the inter-community/league level, but this was not matched in the national club championships.

St Vincent and the Grenadines, after reaching the second round of the Caribbean Football Union Cup, was one step away from qualification for the final, but faltered at the last hurdle.

The Under-20 squad easily succumbed in the opening group stage and went no further.

The male and female volleyball outfits advanced to the second round of the world championships in 2013. However, they were no match for their sub-regional opponents in the ECVA finals.

Neither was the male under-21 team that ventured out to the Continental finals in the USA.

The ever-present squash held its own, with cycling and boxing, ensuring that they stay afloat.

In 2012, there were sparse mentions of the planned indoor facility to be erected at the old Anglican School annex in Kingstown.

That proposal seems to have also gone on the back burner, as the fire, by way of boastings, has been extinguished.

Unfortunately, too, sporting achievements during the year went unheralded nationally, as there were no national sports awards.

One had to draw deep into his/her reservoir of resilience to cope with the almost non-functioning of some national sporting bodies.

Cutting and taking the whole cake in this instance are the St Vincent and the Grenadines Table Tennis Association, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association, and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation.

There are some flickers of hope, which should spring eternal.

Vincentians are holding their grip on the likelihood of young left-arm fast bowler Dellorn Johnson earning a call up to the West Indies senior team.

His returns in 2012, playing for the West Indies A and the WICB President’s XI, suggests only he can be his own enemy and deny himself from gaining a maroon cap.

Also, there is the glimmer of hope, as down in the pecking order is the slow rise of batsman/wicket-keeper Sunil Ambris, who had a year of outing with the West Indies Under-19 team, and who has been selected for the Combined Campuses and Colleges for the upcoming Caribbean T-20 in January.

During this year, there were development courses to spare — football, taekwondo, swimming, with track and field having the lion’s share that was dished out.

Now, the next step is to see the fruits of the input being manifested by improvements all round.

Before the anticipated change in fortunes in all facets of sports, a definitive pathway must be cleared.

We have to, as a people, come to the point of being decisive in whether sport is simply a pastime and an outlet for physical activity, or it is a viable means of people’s development, which when realized, brings pride, joy and economic gains to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

By keeping hope alive, is the best yet to come?

Happy New Year to all!