On Target
July 25, 2014

Thinking out loud

Is St Vincent and the Grenadines attempting to maximise the benefits available in sports?

Are we exploiting the various opportunities to make sports a viable entity in the national alignment of a structured approach to development?{{more}}

The response must first determine if in the first instance, sport is seen as a conduit for progress instead of recreation.

Which, when anlaysed, explains why the resounding answer will in the negative.

As acknowledged, things are left to pan out and evolve, instead of being chartered into direct objectives of achievement.

Like many of our regional neighbours, our resources are not limitless; hence, allocations must be optimised.

But we tend not to explore why others are getting by, albeit with their small returns of morsels, yet we get almost nothing.

St Vincent and the Grenadines can do much with little, as seen by what some persons here do to make ends meet and eventually, not only survive but succeed.

That same spirit of resilience and enterprise of thoughts can be turned into advances.

Why then can’t a vigorous effort be made to have a beach volleyball court erected here soonest?

This column is aware that one is on offer from the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA).

And, through the success of Rodell Fraser and Delshun Welcome, who gained a spot at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China next month, St Vincent and the Grenadines had a bargaining chip to place on the table of negotiation to the NORCECA hierarchy.

But there seems not to be that aggressive and meaningful pursuit to get it in the shortest possible time.

Whilst we procrastinate, Grenada and St Lucia, which are stone throws away are benefiting from beach volleyball competitions.

In fact, both create beach volleyball courts, simply by trucking sand to a relatively flat area next to a beach.

Don’t we have that same will to do the same and be in the lineup for tournaments as well?

Being good copy cats for the right purposes would not hurt us, as throwing ourselves in the ring for the designation of tournaments, surely would not harm us.

Similarly, we are not taking advantage of the bi-lateral relationships with friendly countries which possess expertise to spare as it relates to technical sporting assistance.

Readily, tapping into the resources of Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico and others with whom St Vincent and the Grenadines has economic partnerships. But this must extended to sports as well.

A peep just across the water to Trinidad and Tobago, is testimony of what such foreign input can do.

Cuban throws coach Lopez Mastrapa from 2009 worked with Trinidadian Kishorn Walcott and the rest is history, as Walcott won the gold medal in the Javelin at the 2012 London Olympics.

Many persons may not know that Mastrapa did a stint here in 2012 and identified some potential athletes with throwing abilities.

A combination of meaningful follow by Team Athletics SVG and lethargy on the part of the athletes has resulted to almost zero in progress.

This is not to say that foreign coaches and personnel would immediately turn things around for us in sports, but unfortunately, our people seem to be more receptive to imported technical delivery.

Extending the wings of assistance and capitalising on every opportunity to make the best of our sporting stock, must be surveyed with some diligence.

Such are just a few of the areas which are important cogs if we are to move from the possession of talent to the realisation of sporting achievement.

But this column may sermonise week after week, until thy kingdom comes, but unless sports is placed at the centrality of the development plans, then this messenger will just be preaching to empty pews and deaf ears.