On Target
February 5, 2021
Paying the price for procrastination

IT SHOULD NOT have taken the exposure of some of the happenings of wanton disregard by persons for the real use of the Diamond Track Facility, for government authorities to frantically put things in place, as it regards securing the venue.

This should be a matter of course, as once such an investment was made it must be buttressed by proper administrative structures.

But history will document, this was not the case.

Therefore, with no operational mechanisms instituted, persons chose to do as they like at the facility.

Thankfully, some concerned citizens knowing the value of facility, took it upon themselves to expose the unwanted acts.

One of the first videos that made the rounds, was that of some men using a hose to fill the steeplechase pit and have a good bath in the name of frolicking.

Unfortunately, when that video was made public on some social media platforms in early January of this year, nothing was done.

Added, the men were able to carry out this act almost two months following the official opening of the facility on November 4.

Just earlier this week, other videos surfaced, one with some youngsters having a game of football on the synthetic track and another showing a young boy taking dirt and throwing it on to the track.

These latest exposed images sought to prick the conscience of the authorities to move swiftly to correct their wrongs.

But what was made public may just tell some of the many possible stories of the permitted abuse of the facility.

What unfolded in the various video clips does not speak well for us a nation which has invested over EC$4 million in providing St Vincent and the Grenadines with a much needed sporting asset.

One cannot envisage the government, boasting of its expenditure on the facility; the fanfare and the political currency gained from the project, yet leave a major investment simply to evolve.

It must be egg in the faces for those who have the reins of policy in their hands, but have failed to apply commonsense and basic administrative acumen.

No one had to come out of space and dictate to those in authority that a management committee, plus security measures should have been in place, once the project was coming to the point of completion.

Were they expecting persons to gladly apply moral suasion, love for country and commonsense in the treatment of that sporting facility?

Yes, of course, a larger percentage of the population would, but it is that slender minority which can wreak havoc.

At this juncture, with the security aspect under control, this is one part of the unfinished task that has been ticked off.

Next must be the installation of a properly constituted management committee.

We are well aware that the sitting government would want to go the way of appointing party supporters to fill this committee.

However, the Diamond Track Facility, for all it’s worth, needs well trained persons to oversee its administration.

We have seen too much where politicians err by using party preferences rather than those who are best equipped with the expertise and get the desired results, that of efficiency.

That dangerous road cannot be the path to follow in a time when financial resources are at a premium.

Building the Diamond Track Facility, along with a football field, from our own coffers shall be treasured for its sporting value, and not an accomplishment.

So as we accept that to err is human and to forgive is divine, let us not see a repeat nationally of what has happened with that sporting facility at Diamond.