The Season is on !!!
On Target
February 3, 2023

The Season is on !!!

There is not a more hectic, exciting time in the sporting environment of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) than this, the second term of the schools’ academic year.

What causes that adrenalin rush and high anticipation? Of course, it is the season of Track and Field, more so, the annual Inter–House Championships, among the primary and secondary schools.

The excitement by the athletes, the enthusiasm of parents and teachers is unbridled and sometimes, spills into arrogance, but all in good nature.

The schools’ events then culminate with the high-octane Inter-Primary and Inter-Secondary Schools Championships.

It goes without saying that these championships are the zenith points on the schools’ sporting calendar. They bring out the best in every athlete.

Last year though was a test, as the championships both at the respective Inter-House and Inter-Schools’ levels, were emerging from the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the limitations of 2022, there was enough to shout about as both grand finales served as reliefs and insights, relative to the available stock.

Instructively, many of the schools made use of the Diamond Track which was a novelty for most athletes.

Thus, the experience on the synthetic track at Diamond, worked as an incentive for them.

When all was said and done, several athletes were able to ink their names on the schools’ record, having recorded the best times on that type of surface, in St Vincent and the Grenadines schools’ Track and Field history.

It may just be mere conjecture that the track helped to lift the psyche of our athletes, that translated into good performances.

The same can be said of our Junior Carifta team that went off to Jamaica, as their efforts proved an oasis for Track and Field, as St Vincent and the Grenadines had its best showing at that event, that dates back to 1972.

But Track and Field has a lot to be thankful for, as it has been the beneficiary of some unplanned synergies that have worked in its favour.

When one does an analysis of the local Track and Field scene, the clubs, under the umbrella of Team Athletics SVG, have an umbilical cord that feeds them directly from the schools’ system.

As such, Track and Field is in privileged positions, as most of the club coaches are themselves Physical Education Teachers attached to secondary institutions.

Therefore, High Performance gets its catchment from the Central Leeward schools, Mustangs and ROSES, from schools in North Leeward, Chatoyer- the St Martin’s Secondary, while X- Cel Track Club and X- Ceed Sports Club are directly fed by the St Vincent Grammar School and the Thomas Saunders Secondary, respectively.

As it is at present, a platter has been laid down for growth in the sport.

That template of the flow of athletes from schools to clubs, augurs well for the sustainability and eventually on the track successes.

What then is preventing us from bottling up that fervour and interests that the annual Track and Field season provides?

Can we then use the seasonal fire that lights up the country into an all year-round approach?

Achieving the latter is not far fetched but it is an objective that needs further discussions, fleshing out and more so with like -minded athletes, parents, coaches and other supporting personnel.

It is opportune for the keepers of the sport locally to begin to look closer at extending and be more creative with its activities to suffice other components and the wider general public.

Hence, there is that urgent need to broaden our scope and be more inclusive.

The sport brings more than just competitions, medals, and scholarships; it is considered the “Mother” of other sporting disciplines.