Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s
On Target
December 23, 2021
Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s

On Target will divert this week from its series of call-outs of tardy national sporting associations.

Instead, this week will bring into sharp focus on some kinks that are in immediate need of being ironed out.

As such, this exposition can be deemed applicable to all who are involved in the administration of sports here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
For 2021, there have been a few faux pas in sports, which have left us in a bit of bother, if not shameful.

The latest, whilst an administrative glitch which could be attributed to technology, was last week’s non-participation of the two-member St Vincent and the Grenadines team to the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Age Group Championships, in Managua, Nicaragua.

As it turned out, athletes Jahene Williams and Israel Cumberbatch, along with coach/manager Rawlson Morgan, never made it to their final destination. The trio had to sit it out in Guyana until they were due to travel back to Trinidad and Tobago, last Sunday, before their scheduled arrival in St Vincent and the Grenadines, on December 22.

According to Morgan, there was an issue with the uploading of the Vincentians’ PCR tests for Covid-19; results of which the authorities in Nicaragua never received.

Based on Morgan’s explanation, the St Vincent and the Grenadines team was not the only ones who suffered the consequence, hence could not have boarded the flight to Nicaragua, via Panama on Tuesday, December 14.

This, though, whilst it is plausible, cannot always be accepted.

Wholesomely, it was not just simply St Vincent and the Grenadines being unable to participate in the championships, but a waste of resources, financial and otherwise.

The consequences go beyond those, as the two athletes would have been anticipating their first outing at that level of competition. Reports are that Williams and Cumberbatch were understanding in the circumstances.

This column will not point fingers as to who was wrong in the circumstances, neither would Mr Morgan be castigated.

We however may want to accept that at this juncture, it is water under the bridge, but getting our act together and being efficient in what we do are paramount.

The administration of sports in this the modern-day era is no longer any wishy-washy affair, but calls for in-depth knowledge of many aspects, inclusive of travel regulations and requirements.

It is even more so needed in these times of the pandemic, when there are demands for greater scrutiny all round.

As such, travelling is not a piece of cake, and unless one is au fait with technology, moving through the various countries of the world could be a challenge.

It means that all national sporting associations here, have to equip themselves with personnel who are up to date with some of the latest developments.

Fortunately, many of the organizing committees of the various regional and international tournaments and championships, are going the way of providing manuals, hand books or play books.

These basically outline everything the attendees need to know, before, during and after tournaments and competitions.

Despite these provisions of administrative ease, disappointment such as was the case with the team that never reached Nicaragua, continues to hit several aspects of the Vincentian sporting landscape.

One just has to jog our memories to last July, when St Vincent and the Grenadines was forced to field a depleted team against Haiti in the Gold Cup qualifier in Fort Lauderdale, USA.

Reason being that visas for players were not secured in time, albeit that there were other variables that obstructed the process.

The fact is that these faux pas continue to take place. We accept that there is no perfection here on earth, but embarrassment, although of a sporting nature, affects the image of St Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole.

Our latest episode should cause us to begin to pay more attention to detail. In short, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s have to be the order of the day.

But, as this column highlights its concerns with some of the administrative foul-ups, it is the time of year when we soak up the fun, feast and fellowship.

Yes, it’s Christmas time. To all who celebrate the Yuletide season, On Target wishes everyone a blessed time. Being judicious and circumspect though should take precedence over the normal gaiety associated with Christmas celebrations.