Purpose, programme and potentialities of Sports Camps
On Target
August 18, 2023
Purpose, programme and potentialities of Sports Camps

As we near the conclusion of most of the “Summer” Sports Camps, it may be a good time to reflect on the past six weeks or so, when there was no shortage of activities for the nation’s youths to attend.

Surfing the various camps across St Vincent and the Grenadines, most sporting disciplines had their fair share of exposure, ensuring that the young ones are occupied over the long July/ August school break.

However, Track and Field would have accounted for the bulk of the intake and was the most sustained among the lot.

Given the prevalence and importance of Track and Field, as the basis for the other disciplines, this exposition will zoom in on that aspect of the camps.

As it stood, there were about six to seven camps that were mainly track and field based, netting approximately 300 young athletes for the period.

A commendable number, the sport either got a shot in the arm, or gave new entrants a feel of what it is like.

Generally, they serve the purposes that are directly or indirectly beneficial to the sport itself or general physical literacy and well being of our young population.

Among the pluses, is that youngsters are afforded less time to be gadget binging, as they are required to focus on the purpose of the camp.

Of note too, the various coaches got an opportunity to sharpen their delivery and interpersonal skills or make adjustments, to their styles.

Additionally, such camps empower others, as leaders often emerge during the process, as other hidden administrative talents come to the fore.

As such, these camps are vital to the overall talent identification processes of the respective sporting disciplines.

Notwithstanding the fact that some parents used the opportunity to enrol their children in these camps, as they provide safe havens, while they go about their work commitments.

Granted the significance of the camps and their accrued benefits, it would be a good idea if all the track and field clubs that operate here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, could add Christmas and Easter camps to their calendar.

Yes, one or two do, but it may be a good juncture for more to come on board, and have a more sustained approach towards coaching and exponentially up the catchment in the sport.

It can also be a good idea for the coaches to use these camps for harmonization purposes, whereby, expertise and best practices can be shared among them and their athletes.

It is not unthinkable and unrealistic for athletes to go to other coaches to work on their weakness, as this may be a strong area for some coaches.

Similarly, it is imperative that the camps continue to refresh themselves by having regular evaluation of their proceedings, with the hope of enhancing their operations.

This can lead to some streamlining of activities, as in spite of the disparities, the numbers are relatively small, and duplication of efforts can definitely impede progress.

So as the various camps look forward to another “Summer” of activities in 2024, the leaders can knock heads and host an inter camp championships.

Surely, a worthwhile venture, such camp rivalry can only serve to better the product on offer by the clubs that undertake to have the annual camps.

The suggestion as well, is that all camps include social and psychological components in their programmes.

An often overlooked and slighted aspect, camps are perfect avenues to promote social cohesion, and that much needed psycho- social support, as many of our young athletes are struggling with internal issues.

Too many times, the focal point is improving the physical abilities of the athletes, whilst their various levels of lower order needs are left lagging and unaccomplished.

And, as an appendage to the camps, maybe some should also twin with other disciplines to maximize benefits to all parties.

In concluding, anything that augurs well for the development of sports across St Vincent and the Grenadines, must be encouraged and pursued.