May 30, 2014
SVG Cycling Union to help fight crime with cycles

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Cycling Union is throwing its support behind the call for sports to be used as a medium to help put a dent in crime and criminal activities here.{{more}}

And, despite not having a declared programme towards this, the local cycling union will be holding a road race on Sunday, June 1 to jump start the process.

The race, a 60 mile event, named the Ron John Scrap Metal Cycling Classic, rides off at 1.30 p.m. from Howard’s Marine at Calliaqua.

Cyclists will head to Georgetown, return to Mt Grenan, then back to Georgetown, after which they will cycle to the roundabout in Arnos Vale. They will journey out to Diamonds and head back to the Sion Hill intersection, where the race finishes.

President of the SVG Cycling Union Trevor Bailey, in making a case for the programme to take root nationally, told SEARCHLIGHT: “There are too many crimes taking place in our blessed island, and it’s about time that we all get up and make that change and focus more on sports.”

“Sports against crime is the way to go…. We need to join all forces together with a solid outreach programme, to win the youths and invest in them; the purpose of it is to discourage crime, as it will help to create awareness about the effects of crime when young people associate themselves with it…Sports can transform lives…It can help to build our country stronger and create togetherness… Sports is an important factor in building bridges across the boundaries in many lives,” Bailey proffered.

Lamenting the reality of the social scourge, Bailey, who is also the president of the National Olympic Committee of St Vincent and the Grenadines, said “The prisons are overcrowded; the courthouses are filled all day…. Too many young people are on the street corners with nothing to do but idle; as the saying goes, the devil always finds work for idle hands.”

Reiterating the physical and other social attributes of sports, Bailey underlined “Physical exercise is good for the mind, body, and spirit… Playing sports helps you to stay in shape, teaches you how to organize your time, boosts friendships, and builds relationships with peers and adults… Sports promote mass participation… Furthermore, team sports are good for learning accountability, dedication, and leadership, among many other traits… Putting it all together by playing a sport is a winning combination.”

Bailey noted that for the desired outcome to be achieved, it must be a unified approach.

“Fighting for a common goal with a host of other players, coaches, managers, and community members teach the youths how to build a collective team synergy and effectively communicate the best way to solve problems en route to a victory. This also will be very helpful in life when encountering problems in the workforce, at the home-front, or in any arena for that matter,” Bailey commented.

Bailey had prefaced his intentions recently, when he facilitated a bicycle for young man who had been repeatedly hauled before the courts for stealing bicycles.

Bailey also recalled that some years ago, one former cyclist who became a prisoner blamed him for his incarceration, because the SVG Cycling Union at that time did not hold enough races to keep him occupied.

The call by Bailey for a Sports against Crime initiative follows that made by president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Swimming Association Stephen Joachim. (RT)