On Target
June 25, 2021
Where are we going wrong with sports?

St Vincent and the Grenadines currently does not have a good standing when it comes to sports. It seems that every step that is made, it is either in the wrong direction, or the move is made off the wrong foot. In short, we have not been putting a foot right in recent times.

And, as such, the returns from sports, the appreciation for sports and the general attitude towards sports, are at an all time low.

Replacing the days of joy and achievements, are prolonged periods of frustration.

This is quite unfortunate, as the number of negatives is far outweighing the baby steps that are being made.

To some who follow sports, it is a bugbear, whereas to others, they don’t give a hoot whether sports here sinks or floats. Whichever category one falls into, sports directly or indirectly, affects in some way, our daily lives and livelihoods.

Immediately, as we search for answers to thumb for the decadence in sports, the quickest and easiest avenue to traverse is the blame game. Whilst this may be so to some extent, as individuals, national sporting associations and institutions of the state are the immediate one to be fingered as contributors to the downturn, everyone has to take responsibility for the slide.

We are fast becoming a nation of whiners, lamenters, highlighters of problems, rather than a people who will steel themselves and find solutions.

But what we are seeing with the administration of sports and the myriad of issues that are surfacing, mirror what obtains in other sectors of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Hence, our sporting travails have become a continuum of a wider national phenomenon.

As things move from bad to worse, we are seeing a steady decline in love for sports, that zeal by youngsters to want to be part of the process and a general fall out in participation and contribution.

Sports no longer holds pride of place in our socialization process. A simple question to drive home the argument, is how often do we see parents have to come for their children from the court or the playing field, as they have been there for an inordinate period?

How many parents are ensuring that their children get involved in sports or some sort of physical activity, not as a means of lessening their parental responsibilities, but for the love for them to learn a skill?

These non-occurrences are examples as to where we have sunken. Readily, one would point to the emergence, access and reliance on the various gadgets as the preferred choice for forms of recreation, as well the ability of households to provide alternative forms of entertainment, rather than children being engaged in sports.

Similarly, parents and god-parents are not making sporting gear as first choice presents to the children/ god-children. Instead, some form of electronic device is preferred.

Things are inching fast to being dire, as the present lull in sporting activities is adding the ingredient of social dissonance to the already strained situation.

The collisions are far-reaching, as the loss of hope in sports and the tears in the social fabric, is churning at a frightening pace.

It was only a week ago that this column warned of the possibilities of our sportsmen and women falling prey to the ills of society, because of the pause in the various sporting competitions, both at the community and national levels.

This column, though, is not saying that sports provide all the panacea and preventative measures to the many social problems, but it can assist in keeping idle hands more occupied.

Those who have the most say however, are contented with just the administration of sports and do not have the development of the respective sporting disciplines on their list of priorities. Neither do they place human development element as first in their scheme of operations.

Sadly, they are too preoccupied with holding their positions, maintaining their portfolios, whilst enjoying the statuses and the perks.

The question remains, where are we in St Vincent and the Grenadines going with sports? The answer is that we are travelling at the rate of knots, but are going nowhere at the speed of lightning.