On Target
December 27, 2013
Not bad after all

Success is relative, but when one looks and analyses the sporting achievements by St Vincent and the Grenadines, one can conclude that it was not a bad year after all.{{more}}

No one gained world status, but within the context, what was attained is worthy of mention.

Not in order of merit, but the gold medal in the 200 m by Kineke Alexander at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico in July should translate as high priority.

Also at those games, Alexander, who is arguably this country’s most decorated female athlete, gained a bronze in her pet event – the 400m.

On par was Shaffiqua Maloney’s topping of the 13-14 age category of the CAC Juvenile championships in Curacao.

Like Alexander, Maloney’s feat became another first for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Staying with track and field, the semi-final progress of twin brothers Reberto and Reuberth Boyde at the World Junior Championships in the Ukraine holds a high note of praise.

Reberto reached the semi-finals of the 100 m and his biological other half Reuberth attained his in the 200 m.

To date, the twins have recorded the best performances by athletes from St Vincent and the Grenadines at that world exercise for athletes under the age of 18, since the competition began in 1999.

In the swimming pool, Shne Joachim’s bronze medal gained in the 50 m breast stroke at the Carifta championships, staged in Jamaica. Again, Joachim wrote her name in the Vincentian sporting annals, as the first to medal at the top regional swimming championships.

No lesser feat was that of beach volleyballers Delshun Welcome and Rodell Fraser, who booked a ticket to the World Junior Olympics set for Nanjing, China, next year. It is the first time that that beach volleyball will be included at the Olympic Games. Welcome and Fraser, in the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association’s qualifiers in St Lucia in October, became the first Vincentians to qualify at a team sport at the Olympic level.

Then there were the usual and of course expected results.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Under-23 netballers made it win number 14 of the 23 championships staged since 1991. Not slighted, but this country’s Under-23 revel as the second best team in terms of achievements in the OECS subregion, falling behind the St Lucia men’s Volleyball team.

St Vincent and the Grenadines, as customary, also claimed the senior and junior OECS Squash titles for the umpteenth time.

And most recently, St Vincent and the Grenadines had a double triumph at the Windwards Senior Male Cricket Tournament, winning both the twenty/20 and the two-day competitions.

That represented back-to-back titles in the shortest form of the sport and their fourth in five years at the truncated “longer” format.

Additionally, St Vincent and the Grenadines picked up a couple gold medals at the OECS Boxing championship, which among the achievements, would go down as consolations.

It must also be mentioned that the sports of tennis and table tennis have sorted out their internal problems and have both installed new executives, following some years of protracted instability and insecurity.

Their reconciliatory processes are in themselves success stories.

Also, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Swimming Association, under its new head Stephen Joachim, entered a new frontier by opening up the waters to have more “poor people’s” children take to the pool and keep pace with the more well-to-do ones.

The continued efforts to have the swimmers travel, train and compete at the subregional and even at the international levels, point towards an organization which is forward thinking.

These were indeed an administrative plus and a calming effect, amidst the sometimes tumultuous waves which billowed in some of our national associations.

Interestingly though, and most telling of the aforementioned listings, is that the best efforts have come from the youths – the feared and sometimes chastised among us.

But their times of being in the spotlight have been overshadowed by the various upheavals off the field.

But, if the consensus is that St Vincent and the Grenadines enjoyed a relatively good year in sports, then it must be acknowledged that better can also be achieved.