On Target
June 8, 2018
Sporting voids left

Another set of voids have been left in the sporting structure of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Not that anyone is indispensable, but there are some persons whose contributions in any sphere of life, would have tipped them over others.

So, when last Monday, it was revealed that sports administrator Mrs Sonya Lewis had passed, then the reality of death struck again.

Reports are that Lewis, age 66, died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, following a brief illness.

Lewis’ input towards the betterment of human development has been immense, as she used many of her innate traits to culture others with whom she had that opportunity to add value.

Fortunately, sports got a big chunk of Lewis’ output, and indeed we are for the richer, thanks to her massive contribution.

For decades, Lewis would have given her services namely to netball and basketball, with the former being her pet discipline.

Lewis held key portfolios with distinction as a member of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association executive for several years.

This did not restrict her from making herself available in other capacities, when needed.

Hence, untiringly, Lewis managed and coached national netball units and officiated as an umpire in many local tournaments.

Her contribution was not confined to St Vincent and the Grenadines’ netball, as regionally, Lewis was a former secretary of the Caribbean Netball Association.

Among many of Lewis’ attributes were her attention to detail and punctuality.

Her motherly nature also made her a mentor to netballers, namely the young who would have needed that soothing voice and parental advice.

Not one to be easily ruffled at a holder of malice, one can recount in 2008, when Lewis, despite having some issues with the hierarchy of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association at the time, put country above self and assisted with national Under-16 team to the Caribbean Netball Association tournament, which was staged in Antigua and Barbuda.

At the community level, Lewis aided in the administration of the Calliaqua Area Development Organization (CADO) netball competition, which served as a critical developmental process for budding netballers from the East St George area.

A youth development programme, at the Calliaqua hard court, ten years ago, named Youth For Net, aimed at providing young females with netball, life skills and mentorship, was another of Lewis’ stand-out efforts among the youths.

She took this aspect of her expertise outside St Vincent and the Grenadines, giving assistance to the Caribbean Healthy Lifestyles programme, which aims to promote sports, healthy living, leadership skills and social responsibility among youths in the Caribbean.

Basketball too got Lewis’ care and attention, as she rendered her expertise as vice-president, assistant secretary treasurer, and at the time of her death, was the secretary (acting) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Basketball Federation.

Manager of travelling national female basketball teams and a stronger promoter of the female game, were Lewis’ other callings.

Apart from sports, Lewis, who was Home Economics teacher, extended her knowledge as Consultant of the Caribbean Association of Home Economics.

But whilst Lewis’ loss takes up the largest chunk of this exposition, two other persons who would have given their time and knowledge to sports here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, would have, within the last week, also made their departure from this earthly life.

Gone is Frederick Forbes, who was an outstanding volunteer in sports.

Forbes was present as a marshall at road races of the SVG Cycling Union and would have carried out similar duties for Athletics.

In recent times, he was a regular contributor to the various interactive sports call-in programmes on local radio stations.

 Forbes’ measured comments and recommendations came across the airwaves with profound thought and clarity.

Joining Lewis and Forbes, was Garnet Williams, a former cricket umpire in the 1970s, before he migrated to the USA.

Williams, apart from his umpiring, was one of the persons who provided the platform for the development of Karate here.

The trio in their own way have made sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the better.