June 23, 2015
Fall-off in women’s sports a concern

General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of St Vincent and the Grenadines Keith Joseph has bemoaned the gradual fall-off in the number of females playing netball.{{more}}

At the closing of the Lime Vincy Upgrade National Club Tournament at the Kingstown Netball Centre last Thursday, Joseph made his concerns known.

“Where are our young girls; where are our young ladies and why they are not playing the sport of choice – netball in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” questioned Joseph.

Joseph, in showing how much the numbers have fallen off, pointed to what occurred in the past when there were in excess of 50 teams/clubs contesting the national tournament.

In making the comparison with those who have stuck with the sport for many years and are still doing so, Joseph reasoned, “We still have Skiddy Francis on court; we still have Thelma Foster on court… And they didn’t have to be here.

“The Francises, the Fosters and others have come here with us today to tell us in very simple terms, this sport is valuable to women and girls in our society… This sport can allow our women to make a significant contribution to our development that is important for our legacy,” he underscored.

Joseph, however, acknowledged that netball is not the lone victim of the drop-off in female participation in sports.

“The greatest challenge St Vincent and the Grenadines has today is that from the time our girls reach 15 – 16, they drop out of sport …That is the greatest challenge today …What are we doing as a people and as a nation that allows our girls to drop out of sports at 15 and 16 years old, when that is the time when the maturation of their physical being that allows them to give the greatest contribution to their development as sportswomen,” the NOC general secretary commented.

Stating that it must be an all-out approach to arrest the situation, Joseph advanced: “What we need to do is to look at ourselves… What are we doing as families, what are we doing as parents to this end, that our girl children find ways and means to stay with sports, not just as a means of frivolity, but as a means of developing their physical well-being, as a means of developing themselves socially, as a means of finding careers, building careers.”

Some years ago, the SVG NOC established a Women in Sports Commission which aimed to promote the fullest participation of women in sport in St Vincent and the Grenadines and ensure that there is no discrimination against girls and women at any level.(RT)