August 24, 2012
Performance of Vincy athletes at int’l competitions to be examined

The performances of this country’s athletes in international competitions, such as the Olympics, will be examined.{{more}}

Cecil McKie, Minister of Sports during a press conference on August 16, said that plans are in the making to facilitate this process.

According to McKie, the region’s athletes performed well at the just concluded Olympic Games in London.

“We could not lay claim to such outstanding performances, as was the case for Kirani James of Grenada, which has a smaller population than St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the minister said.

Grenada was able to put out one of its athletes, who managed to bring home the gold, McKie further explained.

He also mentioned the achievement of Trinidadian Keshorn Walcott who took the gold in the javelin competition.

“We have the potential, so we would have to work harder with our athletes to take them to the next level,” McKie contended.

Coaching will have to be one of the factors taken into consideration, to get coaches to understand what level the ministry would like them to be at and to be able to get them there he said.

The administration of each sporting discipline in the country will also be addressed, McKie said.

“Because sports will only be as strong as the various associations and federations and therefore we have to continue to work with them to ensure that administratively they are strengthened on an ongoing basis, so that even though there are executive changes, there would be the necessary strength within the organisation’s sporting discipline and take the sport forward,” the sport minister contended.

The existing facilities will also come into focus, McKie said.

“We also have to look at the issue of facilities and how we can continue to upgrade the facilities that exist in the country and add new ones where possible ,so that we can provide the atmosphere and environment for the athletes to continue to progress.”

The minister said that personnel would begin a tour across the country to view the existing hard courts and playing fields, to make an assessment of the needs of these facilities.

He also disclosed a plan to divide the country into zones, in order to ensure that there is at least one hard court and playing field in each zone that is of the standard to accommodate games.

The minister also said that the ministry was moving forward with the first phase of the national stadium, which is expected to be placed at Diamond.

The first phase of the project, according to the minister, would include the laying down of a track and football stadium, along with other basic amenities.

According to McKie, the Diamond area has been earmarked for a number of sporting venues, including the laying of the street football pitch, a venue to host beach volleyball and beach football.

The cycling association is also engaged in discussions with its parent body about the possibility of laying down a cycling track.

The National Lotteries Authority is also into the final stages of acquiring the Anglican School Annexe to set up an indoor facility to host indoor games such as volleyball, basketball and table sports.

“Where facilities are concerned, we are moving in the right direction,” McKie said.

A meeting is also expected, involving all stakeholders in sport in the country, he said.

This meeting, according to McKie, is expected to bring together organizations, including the National Olympic Committee (NOC), the National Sports Council (NSC) and the NLA, and is expected to bring everyone involved in sport on to the same page.

“For us to know exactly what schedules exist for all of the sporting disciplines,” he explained.

This type of meeting, McKie contended, would allow for his ministry to achieve all of its objectives and will be important, he said, in using sports and culture as a vehicle for change in the country. (DD)