The Cricket World Cup 2007, CWC2007, is about to commence. Here in St Vincent and the Grenadines we are hosts to Australia, Bermuda, England and Zimbabwe, for some warm up matches which we seem to treat as though they are in any significant way related to the competition that will hold centre stage over the next few days. The Caribbean now plays host to the cricketing nations that have somehow distinguished themselves enough to play at this level.
Caribbean governments must be heavily criticised for their total failure to have first sought a thorough understanding of just what they were getting into when they were asked to support the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in hosting the Cricket World Cup 2007 (CWC2007). One can safely say that the political leaders who make up the Caricom Heads of government all seem to have been lost on the historic role that Cricket has played in the liberation of our peoples in the Caribbean.
It may well be fair to conclude that the weaknesses in respect of voluntarism within national sporting organisations in the country (identified in Part I of this particular issue – Friday 9 February 2007) would account for the feeling among many that voluntarism is rapidly declining among them in Vincentian society today. Increasingly volunteers are finding their experience of voluntarism within sporting organisations to be quite poor and at times, very frustrating. Some think that at the beginning the experience was very good but that as time wore on it had depreciated significantly.
There are many in Vincentian society today who watch eagerly at what is happening in sporting organisations in the wider international community. They see the extent to which so many of the once amateur sporting organisations have shifted gear towards professional status. This fact must have implications for the way sport in St Vincent and the Grenadines undergoes change. In the next two editions of this column, I will focus attention on voluntarism in sporting organisations and give consideration to some important issues that arise and the range of options that confront those involved.
The Caribbean Community, CARICOM, has been around for several years and is supposed to facilitate the development of the region through collective endeavour. According to the CARICOM website: In 1972, Commonwealth Caribbean leaders at the Seventh Heads of Government Conference decided to transform the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community, of which the Common Market would be an integral part.
The year 2007 has just begun and St Vincent and the Grenadines, like the rest of the Caribbean, seems focused on the pending Cricket World Cup scheduled to commence in March. However there are many issues that are likely to confront those involved in sport during the year and it may serve us in good stead to spend some time, early in the year, addressing some of the more pertinent among them.
At the recent Awards Ceremony of the National Amateur Athletics Association, NAAA, of Trinidad and Tobago I delivered the following Feature Address. I believe that the points are pertinent to the development of athletics everywhere in the Caribbean and hence the importance of offering it here for public scrutiny.
Visas disaster As the commencement of the Cricket World Cup 2006 draws ever nearer we are finding a number of straws blowing in the wind that causes grave concern among Caribbean people. The problem in the region is of course that once we subject those in authority to criticism, however constructive, there is a very strong tendency for them to take it as a personal affront and to target in response the messenger rather than the message.
In the previous edition of The News newspaper dated 30th December 2006, we began a closer analysis of the Budget presentation in respect of what is in the offing for sport in St Vincent and the Grenadines. In this edition we continue our analysis.
For some time, I have been insistent that successive Governments of St Vincent and the Grenadines have done little more than pay lip service to sport in the State. The contents of the most recent Budget presentation by this country’s Prime Minister in his capacity as Minister of Finance, only serves to highlight this unfortunate fact of Vincentian politics. This week’s column takes a more in-depth look at the presentation and addresses the major areas of concern.