Cricket, lovely cricket
The fact that the Caribbean has been granted the Cricket World Cup 2007 has apparently sent the cricket fraternity across the region on to cloud nine and beyond. Nothing greater has ever happened to the region it seems and consequently all other sporting disciplines have almost certainly been marginalised.
Regional governments almost all cash strapped and bordering on the fringes of becoming beggar maids in the international community, all seem to see the pot of gold looming larger than life all as a direct result of the success of the World Cup.
Suddenly tourism and more particularly sports tourism is the latest buzzword in the region, especially among government ministers.
The approach being taken by regional governments to the World Cup 2007 is almost too good to believe. Everywhere the governments appear to have lost focus of the fundamentals of the national economy and have placed the future in the hands of those who control World Cup 2007.
But the fact of the matter is that the leopard does not readily change its sports and the regional governments would not act any differently than has become normative a la Caricom.
Almost every other sporting discipline outside of cricket appears to have fallen prey to the government’s focus on World Cup 2007.
Here the Independence Sports Festival appears to have fallen victim to this same prejudiced position.
Several sporting disciplines have not been in receipt of any notification of their being ousted from this or that sports facility.
Additionally, there appears to be little or not support being proffered for sporting associations in need of appropriate facilities.
So heavy is the focus on cricket that only those venues seem to be immediately targeted for attention and exhaustive upgrade.
Indoor sports have difficult seeing the time of day so much are they ignored. Boxing, a sporting discipline long associated with the lower classes and an attraction to those who really do have much aggression to vent, has been seeking and literally begging for some attention simply to place the ring to facilitate practice sessions, has been largely ignored.
The idea seems to be that all other sporting disciplines simply have to wait until after the World Cup 2007 before they can receive even the use of some outdoor facilities.
It is almost as if the potential athletes who use outdoor facilities are being told to hang up their boots until after World Cup 2007. It also appears that the future of sport in St Vincent and the Grenadines is inextricably linked and indeed committed in full to cricket; at least until after 2007.
One wonders what would happen to some of our administrators at the conclusion of World Cup 2007. That would be most interesting to witness.
It is very unfortunate when a government can allow itself to be so insensitive to the needs of the vast majority of the nation’s athletes.
It is worse when a government allows itself to appear to be so caught up in narrow prejudicial partisan politics as to divert its promised attention from other critically important and easily more potentially lucrative sporting facilities.
The current situation lends credence to the old adage: Where there is no vision a people perish.