The commencement of the new season of Secondary Schools Football has brought with it the same experience that we have had for so many years. We heard via the media of the conclusion of the negotiations regarding sponsorship of the event nearing the commencement of the competition. To many the annual schools football competition appears more of an activity that simply has to take place and which is not given any more attention at the level of planning and execution.
The football season has started and the rains appear to be with us even though the weather pattern seems to be changing so much that the sun is as hot as ever almost every day before the downpours come in late afternoon. There appears to be something of a mad scramble for playing fields at this time and those that do exist seem to be overworked especially since the schools football season has also commenced.
Jamaica, last week hosted a meeting of a Caricom Task Force on Sports that had on its agenda three fundamental issues: The introduction of the Caribbean Games, the free movement of sports persons within the region and the establishment of a Caribbean Anti Doping Organisation. The aforementioned issues must be seen as additional to Caricom’s commitment to West Indies Cricket, for which there is already a Special Committee comprising of some Caricom Prime Ministers, headed, of course, by Grenada’s Keith Mitchell.
On Saturday 17 September, I was asked to deliver a brief presentation to the umpires from the Caribbean desirous of elevating themselves to the highest level available to them under the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA). The session was at Arnos Vale and addressed the issue of excellence in this particular aspect of netball. The following is the text:
The recent spate of resignations from the hierarchy of the Cricket World Cup 2007 organisation seems to suggest that all is not well in terms of the preparatory exercise for this prestigious event and may well spell ominous signs in respect of what the future holds. The resignations appear to signal above all else that something if wrong and that changes are imminent in the way things are done. It seems that for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) it is no longer business as usual.
Over the past several years the National Olympic Committees of the Caribbean have been engaged in a project aimed at meeting an official request from governments of the region to introduce the Caribbean Games. The intention from the very beginning is to host these Games in the tradition of the modern Olympics, as a multi-sport event that allows our peoples to see friendly competition between the very best athletes of the Caribbean.
Some weeks ago this country established itself as one of the outstanding venues for the hosting of the Queen’s Baton Relay. The Queen’s Baton bears the official message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II which will be read at the official opening ceremony of the 18th Commonwealth Games scheduled for 15 March 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.
Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines (TASVG) initiated a project aimed at developing the base for participation in athletics, not only in St Vincent and the Grenadines but across the Windward Islands. The projects seeks to establish in each of the four Windward Islands the concept of the Right On Track (ROT) programme created by Hasely Crawford of Trinidad and Tobago.
This column has spent much time in the recent past addressing the thorny issue of sports facilities in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The announcement of the government that it is prepared to spend over $20m on the expansion of the Arnos Vale cricket arena has come against the backdrop of two major issues of national concern. On the one hand there is the imminence of general elections and the fact that we have been granted a few warm matches as part of the Cricket World Cup 2007.