On Target
March 26, 2021
Stirring the pot

The protracted nonchalance given to sports from most of our policymakers in St Vincent and the Grenadines, is getting an extended run, as the coronavirus pandemic remains in place.

Many of these policymakers and holders of positions are in glee, as they have an excuse for their neglect of sports. They are elated to have an avenue to trod as sports suffer from being the abandoned child, left without any guidance and parental support.

Like in the life of a child, without proper supervision, leadership and counsel, truancy and deviance are the likely end products. It is without any gainsaying that sports in the local landscape is not in an acceptable state.

As this column had written a few months ago, those decision-makers who are at the top of the pile in the government circles believe that sports development starts and stops at the point of provision of facilities. That fallacy is often touted when politicians are required to share government’s contribution to sports in this country.

This type of rhetoric is often lauded by the ill-informed and no fault of theirs, as they have grown accustomed to have the proverbial carrot being dangled in front of them, and invariably fall for what is seen.

Most who are involved in sports, love sports, and want to see St Vincent and the Grenadines on an upward trajectory, are not holding out much hope. They have become disillusioned by the way things are being done, and the manner in which sports is viewed among the higher ups.

Some have gone as far as to conclude that some officials who are in place to charter the overall development of St Vincent and the Grenadines, have classified sports as a nuisance, which unfortunately they have to live with.

A case in point is the positioning of sports on the recent ministerial allocation. As it is, Hon. Frederick Stephenson is the Minister of the Public Service, Consumer Affairs and Sports. Right there, and then, sports is last on the list in the set up. Off course, the defence case will be made that all portfolios are of equal status. But this column, whilst giving the benefit of the doubt to the protagonists, would like to give the nation the location of Mr. Stephenson’s ministry, as persons want to interface with him on matters of sports.

The situation is compounded that we are seeing persons appointed to the positions on the Youth Empowerment Service (YES) Programme, who do not like sports or never played sports, but are asked to work in the Division of Physical Education and Sports.

That being said and set aside, the lack of government policies and foresight, it is equally painstaking that those who sit in the seats of clout, have heard of the plight of administration of sports at all levels, and have only acknowledged their lamentations, frustrations and impatience.

These personnel have been able to give some false hope by convening consultations and other open forums. Whilst the intent may be well meant, one has to conclude that these activities are basically facades, as there have not been meaningful and visible changes thereafter.

All the blame cannot be laid or placed squarely on the authorities, as at the national level, some of our sporting associations have been found wanting in commitment and love for success. At the national phase, some have displayed heartlessness akin to mercenaries.

We have thus come to the juncture, that no better the goose, no better the gander.

So instead, we are just waiting, hopeful that things will evolve and the landscape would change. Nothing seems forthcoming from those vested in the positions and promisers of a better sporting world for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The time is thus rife for the push back to take place, as only a revolution in sports can do the job. Starting with individual sporting units, you have to lead the way and strenghten your organisation and make your respective communities better in sports.Stirring the pot