Keith Joseph

Olympism

by Keith Joseph

CAC Games 2006

The 20th edition of the Central American and Caribbean, CAC, Games concluded on Sunday, 30th July, after a rather hectic schedule that began with the Official Opening Ceremony on 15th July 2006.
Host city to the Games, the beautiful coastal and historic Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, played host to thousands of athletes and officials from the 32 National Olympic Committees, NOC's, that constitute the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation, CACSO.
The two-weeks of intense competition was matched by the conviviality of the peoples who hosted the event and their genuine commitment to offering the athletes of the region yet another opportunity to participate in the oldest multisport Games in the world, after the Olympic Games.
The CAC Games were first held in 1926, 30-years after the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games.

The Bid
Cartagena was lucky to have won the Bid to host the 20th CAC Games. The city came up against Guatemala City, capital of Guatemala, some six-years-ago.
The two bids were received by the CACSO and a decision was taken by the Executive Committee to award the Games to the Cartagena.
Cartagena won on a promise that it would deliver the goods in respect of all that was required to host a successful CAC Games.

20/20 Cricket and the future of the game

The Allen Stanford 20/20 Cricket Tournament in the West Indies has been hailed by many while some astute connoisseurs of the game appear somewhat despondent and suggest that it is the beginning of the end of the game as we know it.

20/20 cricket
The intention is manifold.
Each team is allowed to face a maximum of 20 overs during which time they are expected to try to score as many runs as possible.
The batsmen are therefore expected not to attempt to settle in the wicket as happens in the longer Test match version of the game but instead to go after the bowling regardless of the state of the team at the time or the quality of the bowler at the opposite end.
Batsmen are not expected to play any defensive strokes but rather to create new strokes to match the attempts by bowlers to get them out.
It is therefore quite common to find that batsmen are virtually well down the wicket before the bowler even delivers the ball.
Boundaries are the most welcome aspect of the batsman`s game. It is a matter literally of the more the merrier.
Singles are taken, if at all, at great risk to the batsmen involved.
Bowlers spend almost all of their time trying to keep the ball at the batsman`s feet in an effort to limit this capacity to get at the ball with any chance of scoring big.

A football World Cup of mixed emotions

The World Cup of Football has come to a close. The Italians have won.
The final game between Italy, the eventual champions, and France, will perhaps be remembered more for the head-butt delivered by Zenadine Zidane, the winner of the top award for Player of the World Cup, than for the glorious encounter that it should have otherwise been.
But the incident, which runs counter to all of the rules of fair play and the fundamental values associated with sport, highlighted the fact that this edition of the prestigious FIFA World Cup was one that fell to an all-time low in the estimation of those who wished to believe that sport can and does promote positive values worthy of emulation by the youths of the world today.
The World Cup had moments of great performance and many occasions when the world watched in horror at the depths to which the game has fallen in some respects.

Some Bright Sparks
No genuine football aficionado could deny that perhaps the team of this year’s World Cup was Ghana.
Here was a team that few followed prior to this edition of the World Cup, but which from the very first encounter displayed a level of play that left many bewildered.
When the Ghanians defeated the highly favoured Czechs, it was clear that their next encounter, against the USA, would leave the already struggling Americans facing certain defeat.

The changing nature of our athletes

In the recent past the National Olympic Academy, NOA, the educational arm of the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee, NOC, has introduced a television series entitled: 'Olympism.'
The television series carries the same name as the radio series that has been in existence for over 10-years.
The objective of both programmes is to sensitise the nation, all sectors of Vincentain society without discrimination, to the concept of Olympism and hopefully, engender a culture of sport that impacts positively the human personality of every Vincentian.
The television programme has thus far featured outstanding sports personalities in the personages of Orde Ballantyne, Thaddeus Michael Findlay and Gloria Ballantyne.
Over the next several months the NOA plans to interview many more sports personalities to allow Vincentians to become better informed of the nation’s rich sporting history.

Olympism
Olympism is that concept which the International Olympic Movement has developed to embody all of the lofty ideals and principles associated with sport, particularly discipline, caring, sharing, camaraderie, friendship, peace and love.

Human Resource Planning critical to the future

The analysis of the state of sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines reflects the paucity of the planning process.
St Vincent and the Grenadines has become far too political in the wrong sense, and in almost every aspect of life.
When once we have thought that the realm of sport would have escaped the travails of narrow party politics it seems that the battle has been lost and the country runs the risk of a blighted future dictated by patron-clientelism.

Government’s Focus
A recent interview with one of this country’s leading sports personality revealed a partiality towards Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Scott as perhaps this country’s best Minister of Sport.
The sports personality highlighted Scott’s genuine love for sport, his propensity towards understanding the importance of sport to those involved and to the society and his genuine desire  to be of assistance to a segment of Vincentian society that was particularly important to the nation’s future.
Unfortunately though, Scott did not always get the type of support from his Cabinet and government colleagues to take sport to the higher levels to which the Associations and their athletes aspired.

The News’ Sports celebrates 17 years

Sometimes we are too close to what is happening to recognise that we are part of something larger and more significant than ourselves.
Sometimes, too, we fail to recognise that w are part of the creation of history.
That may well be said of The News newspaper of St Vincent and the Grenadines and of all those involved in its humble beginnings.

Origins
In 1989, a grouping of three journalists in St Vincent and the Grenadines took the bold decision to start a new national newspaper that they called rather simply, The News.
The News newspaper officially began operations on 23rd June 1989. It is not always that we as Vincentians recognise that so much time has elapsed already. It seems as though the newspaper only got started a mere few years ago.
The very first edition of The News was a Special Issue. It was the full results of the 1989 General Elections which were won by the New Democratic Party, NDP. The NDP won all 15-seats and the front page of The Special Issue of The News simply stated, “Shut Out.” This was but a small taste of what was to come once the paper got into full swing.

Celebrating Olympism

Today the international Olympic Movement and all of the sporting world celebrates International Olympic Day.
It was on 23 June 1894 at the Sorbonne, that Baron Pierre de Coubertin and a small group of invited sports leaders from around the globe at the time opted to establish what has emerged as the Modern Olympic Movement. Two years later the first edition of the Modern Olympic Games was held in Athens, Greece, considered by many as the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games.

Ancient Olympics
Legend has it that the Ancient Olympic Games were held many centuries ago among the then Greek Empire. It was also stated that it was common for the warring nations to agree to a truce during the period of the Games.
Legend also has it that women were forbidden to participate in and even from watching the Games in the Ancient Olympics.

T&T Won the Draw

On Saturday 10 June 2006, Trinidad and Tobago held Sweden to a nil-nil draw in the opening encounter for the twin-island Republic in the FIFA World Cup.
While the Swedes were expected to ride roughshod over the little-fancied Trinbagonians, few thought that the latter could have mustered the skill required to earn a draw playing the better part of the second half with 10 footballers.
For over 100 minutes the Caribbean came together in support of the lone regional team at the prestigious FIFA World Cup in Germany, no mean achievement.

Caribbean and the World Cup
The Caribbean has been represented at the World Cup on two previous occasions.
In 1974 Haiti was the first Caribbean team to make it to the World Cup.

Celebrating Calvert Woods

Friday 2 June 2006 marked the first anniversary of the death of Calvert Woods, one of this nation’s younger committed sports personalities.
On Friday last, a few family members and the principal and staff of the last institution at which he taught gathered at the graveside to celebrate Calvert Woods.
It is important to emphasise that it was very much a celebration; a celebration of the life and times of Calvert Woods.
Unfortunately, not many of those with whom he served and whom he assisted in the field of sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines found the time to join the small gathering in the brief celebration.
One can only hazard a guess that it all seems so very easy to forget those who have contributed so much in so short a period of time.

Winning is infectious


The cricketing world is stunned.
The international cricketing community remains more than a little disconcerted.
The critics have, at least momentarily, been silenced.
The Caribbean is ecstatic.
The West Indies cricket team has certainly provided Caribbean peoples everywhere in the world with much to cheer over the past several weeks and it must feel good.
For so long the team was slumped in the game of cricket that any victory would have brought about immense euphoria among our peoples. That the team should defeat the equally lowly-ranked Zimbabwe and then follow this up with an upset victory over the highly ranked India in the One Day series must have left us all totally ecstatic.
Of course there were those who saw things differently.