WITHIN THE PAST three months or so, St Vincent and the Grenadines has been blessed with a renewed interest in two sporting disciplines and the entrance of one that is entirely new.
As such, we have heard of the formalization of the SVG Chess Association, as well as a re- energizing and firming up of Sailing. These two disciplines have been with us for some time, however, they have had some downturns as the mechanisms to ensure permanence seemed to have been lacking.
Fortunately, there are now persons within those set-ups, who are demonstrating vigour, passion and enthusiasm needed to take the disciplines forward. This is indeed welcoming and good signs that can assure posterity.
But, the most recent discipline to announce its presence on the local sporting landscape, is Archery.
Yes, St Vincent and the Grenadines has an Archery Association and the structures are being erected to have the sport practised among a wide cross–section of Vincentians.
One has to compliment the efforts of the major players, who have expended their human resources in seeing the sport of Archery, getting off the ground.
The process of having St Vincent and Grenadines become a full member of World Archery, must be commended.
With the official recognition of Archery, there is another avenue for persons here, young and old, to channel their energies and abilities. Archery thus, cuts across age barriers as from teenagers to persons who are advanced in years, can be involved in that sports.
What does it mean for St Vincent and the Grenadines to have more sporting disciplines at our disposal?
The benefits are plentiful not only from the involvement of more persons in sports, but for the country as a whole.
Readily, for St Vincent and the Grenadines to become a member of World Archery, brings into focus a selling point for the country.
Simply participating in one of the major global championships opens up to others that there exists a place called St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Sports surely sells, a cost that our tourism authorities can do without incurring, but which brings enormous possibilities, openings and opportunities.
Set aside the advertising and marketing moments, there are other pluses that can be had.
Certainly, not everyone is adept to a sport that demands physical exertions, hence would prefer activities which are more of a mental nature. Here is where Chess comes in. Yes, Chess has been around in St Vincent and the Grenadines, but we have not caught on to it in the manner in which others in the region have done.
Right away, with the vibrancy of the SVG Chess Association, allows for the engagement of youngsters, seniors and adults alike.
The association should put the systems in place to recruit young Chess players to soon be a part of the Carfita Chess Championships. Our participation may just leave the door ajar for us to be the host of such championships. Here again, sports tourism comes into the mix.
Similarly, the resurgence in Sailing creates job opportunities for trained boat handlers to get employment in the lucrative Yachting industry here and outside our own land and sea spaces.
Likewise, in the case of Archery, there are scholarship offers for young sportsmen and women who have some reasonable abilities and with the accompanying academics. It cannot be underscored enough that the scholarship programme is a mandate of World Archery, which makes involvement in the sport an added incentive, especially for youngsters.
Capitalising on these favourable moments must be grabbed with both hands.
Notably, too, there is that international appeal that is had, when it is known that there are sporting practices which are not common to us. This, as the outside begins to look in our direction and recognise that something new, something different is happening in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Undoubtedly, we are living in exciting times in sports, as our horizon is being broadened and there are more sporting disciplines available for Vincentians to choose from.
With these additions, it means that the traditional sports have to work doubly harder to keep their constituents as there is more competition for people’s time and attention.
Hopefully, with Archery entering the fray; Sailing and Chess getting buoyant, we can see an uptick in administrative competencies all round, as everyone strives to make their respective sporting discipline effective and relevant.