On Target
January 6, 2017
Warming up some cold soup

Our beloved country St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has become a resort of talkers, mouth champions and lip service experts; however, there has been no follow through on the necessary decisive action.

Many of our stakeholders in sports have also joined in the chattering parade, whilst the various disciplines reverse in both development and fortunes.

The task, though, of those who are concerned with the scant respect shown to sports in SVG is to highlight the issues confronting sports, and notably, that efforts would be made to find the solutions in the shortest possible time.

It comes down to a scenario which can be likened to warming up cold soups, that often sports journalists delve into the deep end of the operations of many of our associations and government agencies, yet they too are included among those to whom no one responds.

This column, in a recent exposition, questioned whether or not those policy makers are listening to the voices and writings of those who have first-hand knowledge of the real state of sports in SVG.

But talk has always been known to be cheap, which may explain the constant promises and blarney which spew from the mouths of the movers and shakers, which act as temporary relief and band-aids to the sores which are gnawing away at the flesh of sports.

These persons parade at the opening and closing ceremonies of schools’, communities’ and national events, uttering their hollow pronouncements.

And, this type of behaviour is now commonplace, as both sides of the political fence revel in these occasions to let out their hot air on sports.

Their constant recitals of putting sports as a central pillar of national development, as often mouthed by the incumbent, while those who are seeking higher offices, will make similar policy statements, garnished with grandiose promises.

When put as a combo, their statements then serve as clichés, nothing more, as has been heard of for the past two decades and more.

Unfortunately, or is it a decisive tact to make listeners believe that success is achieved with the spoken word?

The powers that be gloss over the intricacies of getting our sportsmen and women from local heroes and heroines to even regional contenders, more so world beaters, and paint a picture of the provision of sporting facilities as the lone pathway to success.

Simplicity and trivializing the processes towards making St Vincent and the Grenadines a sporting nation are the order of the day; hence, we find ourselves being looked at by our regional neighbours in the rear-view mirror.

Therefore, it must be underscored that winning competitions and titles, as lowly as at the Windward Islands level, is not a complimentary affair, neither one of sympathy and benevolence, but must be earned.

In short, if one wants to medal, go on the podium or lift the championship trophy aloft, the requisite preparations, both mental and physical, along with other support mechanisms must be installed and in train.

It is then a travesty of our system that at least two of our government officials who are critical personnel in the areas of sports and education, only a few months ago were not aware that St Vincent and the Grenadines will be hosting the annual Windward Islands schools’ games in late July, early August.

This sort of occurrence epitomizes the state of play and the extent to which sport holds within the framework of our national landscape.

But it will be those same person(s) who, when or if the games do come our way, will give speeches, expounding the importance of the yearly exercise and how much of a hands-on approach they would have made in realizing the games.

All round we are not doing well at sports, neither at the planning nor at the execution stages.

We have lost it and have taken the reverse gear and the preferred route of progress.

Are there any escape routes and hope for advancement and excavation from the prolonged rot?

Or should we just continue to talk, lament and murmur over what needs to be done and be comforted with the fact that the many issues are being ventilated at various forums and media platforms?

Should just discussion be continued year in year out and simply warm up our cold soup?