Our Readers' Opinions
April 1, 2005
AAA – take another look at Keith Joseph

Editor: First, let me congratulate Adonson Shallow for placing second in the discus throw, especially after placing ninth last year in the Junior Carifta games. Again, I hardly saw any mention of this event in the print media.

Moreover, I want to know how many athletes from St. Vincent and the Grenadines attended these games, because outside of Adonson Shallow, SVG was nowhere to be seen on the medal board.{{more}}

There should be some serious analysis taken place on the state of track and field in SVG. Surely there have to be many boys and girls locally with the potential to develop into the next big track star in whatever discipline.

However, there doesn’t seem to be any mechanism in place dedicated to the development of athletics in SVG. If there is, it would appear that it has not borne any significant fruits, outside of the one and two athletes, like a Kineke Alexander, and most recently Adonson Shallow.

The Minister of Sports, Mike Browne should take a serious look at the state of athletics in SVG and do whatever is necessary to ensure that this sport is on the front burner of sports development in SVG.

We all know that sports in general can lift many out of poverty and can instill discipline in our young people. But most importantly, it can open doors for many of our young people to gain or be eligible for athletic scholarships abroad, an opportunity to further their education.

That said, I wonder if Keith Joseph is the right person to elevate track and field in SVG? Since Joseph has been the head of the Amateur Athletics Association (AAU) in SVG, how many of our athletes have achieved major success regionally or internationally?

We can do better

Maybe it is time to get rid of Joseph and elect someone who has the qualification, leadership, vision, and personality needed to move our athletic programme to where it can compete with the top programmes in the region. This is the only way our athletes will be able to secure scholarships abroad.

We cannot be satisfied with just one or two athletes from SVG making it abroad. We can do much better than this, but we need to put our house in order so that our young people can have the resources and personnel needed in the enhancement of their athletic development. .

We have already seen what our young people can do internationally, as we watch Sophia Young leading Baylor University towards the women NCAA Championship. It was truly exciting to hear St. Vincent being mentioned, over and over, on ESPN, as millions of people watch Sophia dominating performances so far in this tournament.

More importantly, seeing her mother in the stands watching her daughter play for the first time was a joy to behold. The publicity given to this reunion of daughter and mother was vast and heart-warming.

What did all this achieve? St. Vincent and the Grenadines received free exposure. It is likely that colleges and universities will now look towards SVG to see if there are more Sophia Youngs and Sancho Lyttles in our blessed nation.

If we’re serious about sports tourism as one of the vehicles being looked at in the development of this country, then it is time to get our act together in the development of athletics in SVG.

Is he the right person for the job?

It starts with looking at Keith Joseph’s record as head of AAU. We need to know if he is the right person, especially since he is likely wearing other hats which can lead to him not being fully focused and motivated on the development of track and field in SVG, to move this sport forward.

If we’re looking at

the development and improvement of every sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, clearly, one has to re-assess Joseph’s record as President of Team SVG Athletics.

The question that needs to be answered is, as the renaissance of sports development takes shape in SVG, does Mr. Keith Joseph have the vision, focus, and dedication needed to bring real success to the athletics programme?

Lance Davis