It has often been said that the politics of sport is more vicious than national politics.
Here in St Vincent and the Grenadines we have witnessed the systematic politicising of sport in a variety of ways but many have opted to still their tongues, perhaps too fearful of the seeming dangers of speaking out.
In this Column we attempt to
Astute analysts of Vincentian sport are few and far between. This is largely as a result of the way in which sport has not escaped the broader process of political socialization that has been taking place in St Vincent and the Grenadines over the past several years.
Nothing in this country today has escaped the political myopia systematically sown amongst the populace and so sport too has become a victim.
The consequences of the politicization of sport in St Vincent and the Grenadines will inevitably have much the same effect as the politicization of education and employment opportunities, colour of clothing worn and even what one ought to say when speaking in the public domain or freely expressing one’s opinion on issues impacting the country.
The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has been almost singularly focused on the construction of an international airport at Argyle for the past several years. Many may have actually forgotten how long ago the project started and as we are now seeing, even as the opening has been announced, the authorities have found identified weak areas and engaged in repair work on the runway.
One of the important features of the years that the international airport has been under construction has been the tremendous difficulty in obtaining truth.
National elections are upon us and the contesting political parties are seeking the vote of every adult Vincentian. Sport is an integral part of the national development process, not a mere adjunct to it.
Vincentian sportspeople must therefore take the time to ensure that they have a say in what happens with sport in this country.
In the previous article dates 24 April 2015 we addressed the sorry state of the Arnos Vale Sports Complex as one of the startling contradictions of the current political administration even as it boasts of having the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) borrow $6.5m from the National Insurance Services (NIS) for the upgrading of the nation’s sports facilities.
Under normal circumstances the Annual Carifta Congress would have been incident-free. At the Annual Carifta Congress in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, in 2007, however, it was a different matter. IAAF president, Lamine Diack, turned what would otherwise have been his address to the delegates into a tirade on the NACAC president, Amadeo Francis, informing them that while he thought that the latter was his friend he had lent his support to Minos, the Greek, to challenge him for the presidency of the IAAF. The gathering was obviously shocked and Francis sought to suggest that it was at a time when Diack had indicated that he was no longer going after the presidency; that he was going to retire.