February 28, 2014
Swim head advocates sports revolution

Faced with a spike in the incidence of crime here, head of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Swimming Association Stephen Joachim is challenging the authorities to initiate a Sports Against Crime programme.{{more}}

Determined to use the sport of swimming as a springboard, Joachim told SEARCHLIGHT last Friday: “Let’s start a sports against crime … There is pan against crime, but sports is far more important in our society than any pan will ever be… Sports is a critical thing; without sports, you do not really have proper development.”

Reflecting on recent societal issues, Joachim noted: “In our country we talk about education revolution… to me, there has been no revolution, because all we have done is continue to focus on academics… We need to broaden that focus into culture, into arts and particularly into sports. Sports is probably the most important thing because it teaches the critical thing, how to deal with disappointment and you have to learn how to accept defeat and how do I work harder next time … It is about character building”.

In continuing his advocacy, Joachim added “This is why our society is in trouble right now. It has nothing to do about politicians… it is about leadership and teaching our kids about right from wrong and build their character and build their self-esteem and stop the violence”.

Joachim was speaking against the backdrop that his association decidedly embarked on getting the less fortunate youngsters involved in swimming, hence, assisting in bridging the divide.

“Most of us who are more fortunate owe it to give back… we need to give something back in whatever ways we can. All societies have pyramids; people at the top and people at the bottom; but the problem is when those gaps get too big,” Joachim said.

During 2013, the SVGASA embarked on a grassroots programme, which targeted 50 youngsters from Rose Place and Layou to teach them the rudiments of swimming.

Joachim believes that it was such undertakings by the association, among other achievements, which tipped them over the other associations to win the Association of the Year award at the National Sports Awards for 2013, which was held earlier this month.

Conservative in acknowledging the association’s national accolade, Joachim thought it was a total team effort and lauded the immediate past president Andre Cadogan for seeing through to fruition the pool at Shrewsbury House.

“It is help from people like Louise Mitchell, who worked really hard with the Mustique Charitable Trust grassroots programme, which has impacted the lives of 50 poor children,” Joachim underlined forcefully.

Apart from winning the Association of the Year, Shne Joachim took the Junior Sportswoman of the Year accolade and national swim coach Kyle Dougan – the Coach of the Year award. (RT)