The New Year has only just begun and already every sporting organization in this country is confronted with numerous challenges, several of which may well be almost insurmountable.
National Sports Policy Perhaps the first major challenge confronting sports organizations in St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2006 is that which emanates from the National Sports Policy. Initially the National Sports Policy was developed in the 1990s by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) in tandem with the Commonwealth Sports Development Programme (CSDP), national sports associations, the media, the private sector and other interested parties. The first document took almost two years before going to Cabinet and was eventually implemented.
The word of sport has always been considered filled with uncertainties. Some may wish to say, glorious uncertainties. In St Vincent and the Grenadines we have witnessed the significant decline in the fortunes of our netball in the recent past, something that has left many sporting enthusiasts rather perplexed. The current year just about coming to a close was perhaps
The announcement by the newly-elected government of a ministerial portfolio designated Tourism and Sports must be one that is welcomed by all who are involved in sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines, especially those who have long since been calling for due recognition to be given to sports tourism in the national development process. Perhaps it should be noted
Tomorrow, Saturday 17 December 2005 Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines (TASVG) will host its Annual Awards ceremony as well as bring the curtains down on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Coaches Education certification System (CECS) level # 1 Course which involved some 19 coaches. Tomorrows ceremony is scheduled for 4.00 pm at the Players pavilion at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex. 2005 has been another very busy year with TASVG honouring its commitments to the IAAF at the local, regional and international levels.
Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines (TASVG) has been involved in the systematic development of the sport in the past year. The process is a long term one that requires firm commitment from all of the stakeholders. The Strategic Plan developed by TASVG has placed particular emphasis on making athletics the leading participatory sport for individuals in the nations schools. This is consistent with the Strategic Plans of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and of the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Area Association, the continental arm of the parent body for the sport. The implementation of Strategic Plans is never an easy task. This is all the more so when the environment within which one is called upon to engage in the implementation process is bereft of a sports culture.
Brian Charles Lara has done it again. The Trinidad and Tobago batting genius has surpassed the test cricket batting total and seems destined to place it beyond the reach of others in the game, at least for a few years. This feat was achieved recently while Lara was at the crease in the third and final test match being played in Adelaide, Australia. On 26 November 2005 Lara surpassed Allan Border to take the highest individual number of test runs to 11,187 runs from 121 matches and 213 innings - a new world record.
The challenges facing West Indies Cricket at the present time has not been helped by a number of unsavoury incidents and practices. The second cricket test against Australia may nonetheless have given us a chance to see the potential amongst our players to begin to shake off some of the baggage of the past several years.
The insistence of the ruling Unity labour Party (ULP) on using the Grammar School Playing Field to host its mega launch on Sunday 13 November 2005, has brought with it at least one casualty – Orde Ballantyne. Ballantyne, who has been the virtual manager of the Grammar Schools Playing Field since the government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring it up to an acceptable level, has tendered his resignation on a matter of principle.
The situation in respect of sports development in St Vincent and the Grenadines now appears to be in tatters and this simply because of the almost total absence of planning. The fact of St Vincent and the Grenadines hosting some warm up matches prior to the commencement of World Cricket Cup 2007 has obviously sent the authorities in this country in some sort of tailspin. Suddenly some people apparently see an opportunity for them to engage in grandstanding and hopefully improve their social status.
This columnist has been making the claim since the introduction of the News newspaper in 1989, with much justification, that the National Sports Council (NSC) established several years ago, is really a misnomer. The organisation has been since its origins and to this date, nothing more than a National Cricket Council (NCC), albeit despite the existence of a St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association. The current government administration has proven itself just as myopic as the NSC.