On Target
July 22, 2016
We are in bad shape

This column has been forever pounding that there exists a crisis in leadership in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and this goes across the board, with sports unfortunately part of the universal set.

It is almost a given that our national sporting associations must be engaged in struggles for persons willing to give of their best when asked to serve in their various capacities. Very few, if any, national sports associations can put their hands up and say they are crisis free.{{more}}

Therefore, the situation last Saturday, when the St Vincent and the Grenadines Volleyball Association (SVGVA) had to resort to the establishment of an interim committee, typifies what is now the usual course of happenings.

What is even more disturbing is that mistrust seems to be a rooted phenomenon in Vincentians’ psyche. As it stands, no one wants to work with anyone for fear of being stabbed in the back. So, when a member, who has served on an executive, voted in favour of a no-confidence motion against said executive of which he/she was part, that tells that we are in bad shape.

Such irony also took place earlier this year, when the St Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation also attempted to host an extraordinary meeting in February.

Former president of the SVGVA Eardley Martin, last Saturday, summed up the volleyball culture as exists here, when he analogized the treatment he got from affiliates on November 23, 2013, at the St Vincent Grammar School, as similar to that received by Jesus Christ.

Martin recalled being greeted at the meeting just the way Jesus was revered on Palm Sunday, only to be crucified by the end of it. His crucifixion was in a 12-3 humiliation by votes in favour of Alana Mc Master.

Mc Master did not face the indignity of being removed from her post by way of ballots, but in effect demitted office by calling early elections, spelling that she wanted her way out.

And, despite the fact that elections for a new executive did not materialize last Saturday, a five-member committee will take charge of the sport’s administrative details for the next six months.

But Mc Master was not spared being vilified and hanged on the volleyball cross for her shortcomings and style of leadership by some of the said persons who overwhelmingly voted for her less than three years ago.

This type of villainous operation surely would not lure persons who have good intentions to serve, as they will not want their names, nor those of their families and relatives to be dragged into the mire of a national sports melée.

This cyclical occurrence is going on once too often in the volleyball set-up, as the sport seems to have been attaining some regional recognition, not from the good deeds of the administrators, but from some emerging players.

SVG possesses a young crop of male players who have shown that they have the potential to get better and better.

Two years ago, in Antigua and Barbuda, SVG were clearly the best team on show in an Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) Tournament, despite not winning.

One year later, the team went all the way and finished on top, thus earning the right to represent the ECVA region at the Continental Championships in Canada earlier this month, and showed some competitive edge among the bigger and more experienced teams and more so, did well enough not to place last.

They even came away with an individual award from among the likes of the USA, Canada, Guatemala and Cuba, which should be lauded as a major achievement.

Also, three years ago when St Vincent and the Grenadines qualified from the region for the Beach Volleyball Competition of the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, through the play of Rodell Fraser and Delshun Welcome, that was another high point for the sport.

Off the court, personnel from St Vincent and the Grenadines are sourced to perform critical duties in ECVA and wider North, Central and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) tournaments, thus exemplifying the importance for us to get things in order.

So, whilst the SVGVA and others grapple with their leadership issues of one kind, on the other hand there are those who will want to hold on for dear life to a position which they are either incapable of holding, do not have the time for, or are in for their personal gratification.

No one has an indefinite lease or title ownership on executive positions, but what is required while serving are honesty, sincerity, commitment to the sport and maximizing the benefits which can redound to the associations’ membership and St Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole.

At each angle one turns, there is a problem with leadership and proper service to sports here.

It is accepted that we are in bad shape, something has to give.