July 27, 2018
Bridging that generation gap

There is undoubtedly a gulf which exists in the generations here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

This gap has been extended in recent times, by the differences that are emerging in societal norms. These changes rub against the acceptance levels of the generations.

Whilst this type of stand-off is commonplace in many facets of our Vincentian society, sports has not been exempted.

As it is, whether part of the wider social practices, the divide is such that neither seem willing to meet each other in a way that would reduce the gaping space.

Deeper though, there is that notion that the efforts of one generation are better than the other.

It is common to hear that the performance of players of yesteryear, was far better than what occurs at present.

A case in point, is the continuous harping on the stand-outs in the golden era of our sporting history when our national football emerged as a force in the region in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Undoubtedly, that period was one that engendered a great deal of national pride and boosted the psyche of Vincentians, home and abroad.

In short, the national footballers have been venerated and hold pride of place, ever since.

However, unfortunately, many who have lived through that period, seem to believe that football in St Vincent and the Grenadines began and ended at that juncture.

The same has been touted and glorified for other sporting disciplines, which in the past have been excellent in their time and have too made the nation stand and salute their success.

It therefore can be disconcerting for some people to always make reference of those past performances, and place little significance to what unfolds in the modern day set-up.

By the same token, those who are the actors and actresses on stage at this time of our national sporting theatre, are quick to refer to those of the past as being irrelevant to present time and are deemed washed up and expired.

The latter’s assessment is often fashioned by the fact that there is little footage of what was done by those of past years; neither are the past players draped as national treasures. As a consequence, the superiority/ inferiority takes hold.

Blame cannot be laid solely at the feet of either, as both sets of forces are guilty of scantily accepting each other’s contributions.

The stand-off flourishes, as neither of the parties are seemingly making any decisive move to bridge the gap, as they may be both comfortable with what obtains.

Or is it that they pay little or no attention to what is taking place, hence the phenomenon of “it is what it is”, has taken root?

Rarely do we see many of the past players, especially those who have represented St Vincent and the Grenadines or have excelled at the local competitions, giving back to the sport that bestowed on them some national recognition.

Is it that they have to be approached, and their expertise solicited?

Whatever the answer, there are many former players who still have a contribution to make to sports here.

Whilst it is understandable that the dynamics of sports has changed over the years, hence some may not be able to adequately pass on technical skills to their contemporaries, at least a contribution is welcomed.

These ex-players can served as trustees for their former clubs, mentors or administrators, or in some way assist the national association they once represented.

Conversely, the current players should accept the help that is on offer, and take it for what it is worth.

Therefore, both sides of the fence should meet each other at the point of equilibrium, as their contributions are welcomed in the quest of making sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines better.