Our footballers were unable to qualify for the Olympics very early. The Tournament is essentially Under 23 but our game is not yet up to the Caribbean standard at this level so we took an early exit.
There is no shortage of talented youths in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We see them at the school level and now some are at the Under 20 level. Somehow they do not seem to be encouraged and adequately trained to move ahead in developing their skill competencies.
The likelihood of our national team making it to the Olympics in Football seems some distance away.
The work now being undertaken by the Football fraternity to engage in the establishment of academies augurs well for the future and gives us hope.
On two occasions – 2002 and 2006 – St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee secured assistance from Olympic Solidarity to prepare a Basketball team to compete for a place in the Olympics. On both occasions, of course, the qualifiers begin with the nation’s participation in the Caricom Basketball tournament. Unfortunately, some years ago the international federation, FIBA, reconfigured the Caricom area and suddenly we have some very powerful Spanish-speaking teams on board.
Thus far the Vincentian teams have been unable to get past the Caricom round of qualifiers.
It should be noted, however, that given the state of our Basketball, the professional NBA team for which Adonal Foyle plays has consistently balked at his participation in our qualifiers. It appears that its insurance would not cover him during the period and hence any injuries sustained would be the expense of either himself or the local Federation and that it may also cost him his NBA career. This has meant therefore that we have not had the services of our best and most highly rated Basketballer. This has important consequences since other countries do have the services of their NBA athletes. Perhaps it has something to do with their capacity to provide an appropriate response to the NBA teams in terms of coverage of the athlete.