On Target
September 22, 2017
All ah Dem talks watery

St Vincent and the Grenadines is filled with persons, especially those in authority of sports, who spew a lot of hot air.

They come with their grandiose ideas and promises, decorated with highfalutin language, only to slip back into their emptiness.

As it has been for a long time, we are just spinning top in mud and not only making sports of sports, but are taking the nation’s youths for a ride to an undetermined destination.

The evidence is stacking up with every passing year, as nothing seems to be going in the right direction, or with any sense of purpose.

The persistent chattering at workshops, openings, in Parliament and other public forums about sports here in St Vincent and the Grenadines is just talk without any action.

Our people are no longer gullible and accept the promises with a grain of salt… they have read into the hollowness and repetitions.

So therefore, each year when there is a tripartite meeting, which brings together some national associations, along with other stakeholders, including the Ministry of Sports, this adds to the well-established talk shop.

In saying so though, there is muted silence from the powers that be, namely the Ministry of Sports and more directly the director of Physical Education and Sports, on policy matters relative to the overall development of sports here.

When last has any such government department come out with a definitive plan for that important sector which helps in social transformation and economic development?

Is it that they are acknowledging that nothing is happening, therefore nothing is there to be said?

If then there is nothing taking place, then let us do some house cleaning.

But while those in authority linger, our sportsmen and women are the ones who bear the brunt of criticism, when they underperform.

Despite how well-meaning these athletes are, unless there is a clear pathway made though state policies and support, then their efforts are in vain.

Inherent are the problems confronting sports, framed through the mechanisms which govern the administration.

Such is the current state of affairs that the national schools’ games policy, written since 2010, has not gone through a review. This against the reality that it should be reviewed at least every three years.

Haven’t things changed since? Haven’t the demands and expectations of sports in the nation’s schools gone through changes?

In a similar vein, the Schools’ Games Committee rarely convenes a meeting, save and except when the inter-primary and inter-secondary schools’ athletics championships are close.

Set aside the various faux pas and lack of policies, there is also a debilitation, compliments the persons installed in key positions in the Ministry of Education, especially those with the responsibility for physical education and sports.

Why should key persons be permitted to go on vacation at this time of year, without things being in place ahead of the first term, when several schools’ competitions are set to take place?’

Are there any confirmation dates as to the start of the disciplines set for this school term?

But the big wigs’ talks continue to be tasteless, as whilst they often mouth off about the number of trained personnel in physical education and sports who return from universities, the latter are not allowed to put their expertise into practice.

Instead, most are confined to the classroom, rather than lending the knowledge gained, as those who are careless about sports have the push buttons in hand and are taking us to the lowest ebb.

Something, though, has to give in this regard, as frustration may soon step in and such certified and trained personnel who continue to go through the motions, seek other forms of employment, or simply migrate.

But even if either occurs, does anyone really care? They would rationalize it as ‘it is what it is!’

They will just talk and talk again, and the cycle continues.