On Target
January 20, 2023
Vibrancy lacking from higher up

It is an established notion that when persons in positions of clout show enthusiasm and zeal, others on the lower tiers, invariably exhibit the same.

Equally, when those personnel are lacklustre, the output by those who are dependent on the higher ups for guidance follow suit with similar or even worse nonchalance.

Does the latter hit a nerve of reality as it pertains to the happenings taking place in the sporting arena of St Vincent and the Grenadines?

Yes, will be the response from those who either follow sports or are integrally engaged in the various disciplines practised here.

Indeed, the negative energies that are given off from policy makers, have impacted adversely on some of what is taking place in this country at present.

Beyond the institutionalized lip service that is often paraded as genuine love for sports and sports people, there persists a scant regard for sports.

Little or no attention is expended on the bounty of positive derivatives that sports and its involvement can accrue.

As such, their actions, or better still lack thereof, substantially devalue the positive impacts on nationhood, physical wellness and significantly, the premium- social cohesion.
Therefore, it is not enough to have policy frameworks being touted and documented, but the resulting actions head in a different direction.

At best however, our government ministers, along with other personnel are quick to be present at the airport or seaports to welcome back individuals and teams when they excel on overseas assignments.

The receptions are often loaded with empty promises, photo opportunities and moments of temporary chivalry.

Additionally, the sittings of Parliament are drowned in congratulatory messages, then we go back to square one.

But as this column laments on the lack of vibrancy by the decision makers and those with purse strings, a leaf can be taken from Guyana’s President, Irfaan Ali, who has been showing the pathways for other Caribbean political leaders to follow and more so, emulate.

Ali, has shown in his actions a genuine love for sports and understands the social, economic and harmonizing effects of sports.

Moreover, Ali has had a hands-on approach to the development of sports in his country.

Such is the renewed vigour, that there has been an increase in the budgetary allocation for sports in Guyana.

Critically, a sizeable chuck goes to the development of the country’s young sportsmen and women, through injection into the country’s National Sports Academy, established in 2022.

Well done, one may say, but is that doable here in St Vincent and the Grenadines?

A response in the affirmative is assured from those who, like the Guyanese political directorate, view sports as a viable vehicle for national development, as well as economic growth.

The onus is therefore on our current Prime Minister, to be like your good friend and comrade, Mr. Ali of Guyana, and run the lead leg for the vitalization of sports in your country.

Yes PM Gonsalves, we know that you are able to get the job done once you put your back and mind into it.

You can also lead the way in getting the various ministries and arms of central government to adopt a better, serious and practical approach to sports development.

Mr. PM, you may have miscalculated with some of the ministerial appointments, but it is not late to do the reshuffle and get someone to add flames to sports here in this beloved country of ours.

You have the charisma and character to get your cabinet working, even if it means to make some of your comrades uncomfortable.

Our young people have that burning desire to have hope presented to them, wrapped in opportunities to make a better way of their lives.

That package thus should be filled with sports doused with love for achievement, sprinkled with political will.

Too much is rubbing our young people, inclusive of our budding sportsmen and women, the wrong way. Hence, it is high time for that turnaround, propelled by that national paradigm shift, where sports is placed higher up the pecking order of national development.

But, in all the doings and sayings, that fervour must be inoculated in the psyche and modus operandi of the people at the top echelon of national decision making.