On Target
March 11, 2022
Getting our houses in order

Sports the world over has suffered tremendously for the past two years, as the novel coronavirus has upended almost everything .

The ripple effects of the lack of sports have been far -reaching, as there have been losses aplenty.

One cannot begin to count the number of areas which have been dented, crippled or decimated.

But there seems to be some light flickering at the end of the proverbial tunnel, as slowly but surely the world of sports is opening up.

Hope is that things will be better sooner rather than later, and some level of “normalcy” will return.

However, as we plan, prepare and anticipate for what some may deem “inevitable normalcy”, there has to be a guarded route that has to be traversed.

This, in as much we want to believe, it will not and cannot be business as usual, as the pandemic has changed much of the sporting landscape world-wide.

The absence of some of the international sporting competitions has meant that less resources is available to smaller states like St Vincent and the Grenadines. It is no gainsaying that most of our national sporting associations depend on the parent bodies to fund the various programmes. Without that type of financial help, some of these associations/ federations would be more than helpless.

But should the worst case scenario occur and some associations are unable to be funded by their respective parent bodies
then, we should all hope for the best, but instructively, prepare for the worst.

To do so, our national sporting associations/ federations have to get their acts together, by putting their houses in order. Suspicions are rife that the hand outs would be reduced, hence, it would be the best organised bodies which are likely to fit the bill.

The impact though would not be felt only from the downturn in funding from overseas, but even from regional and local entities.

Totally localising the issue, no one has to bellow his/ her mouth to recognise that economically St Vincent and the Grenadines is not in the position where it ought to be, and the pandemic as well as the volcanic eruptions fall out last year, have exacerbated our already precarious position.

Therefore, those associations/ federations which have been heavily dependent on the few corporations to sponsor/ help them, have to start to look to alternative sources.

But have they been so reliant on such assistance that they do not know how to chart ways of helping themselves, even partially.

Indeed, many of our sporting associations/ federations could soon find themselves between a rock and a hard place. However, one does not envisage some caving in under the anticipated pressure.

The belief strongly is that a higher level of governance structure and a greater professional operation will be demanded, thus, falling in line with these prescribed standards will be the benchmark.

Associations/federations have to configure ways of raising their own finances through proper marketing and other business ventures.

This column though believes that in the midst of the gloomy clouds, those associations/ federations which have been lagging, will soon get their act together as sports is not only big business, but a highly professional operation.