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.
While the many election promises made in the haste to access political power and governance seemed to suggest a broad based understanding of the sports development process the years since then has provided those serious about sport with ample proof that as always politicians continue to play sportspersons/athletes as political patsies.
While one understands the circumstances that gave birth and eventual realisation of the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, the sheer scarcity of land ideally suited to the construction of outdoor sports facilities made it incumbent upon successive governments to ensure that existing and future facilities would be accommodative of multiple sports as far as possible.
No one with an understanding of the immense work undertaken by the leadership of cricket in St Vincent and the Grenadines at the time to ensure that Arnos Vale was constructed and in time to facilitate this country’s inaugural hosting of major international cricket.
Many Vincentians may well not be in possession of the personalities involved in the creation of this beautiful playing arena and yet many more may have absolutely no understanding of and appreciation for the particular role played by Frank Thomas after whom one of the pavilions at the arena is named.
The conception and construction of the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground must remain to this date the single best example of a government allowing itself to be coerced by a national sports association to bring all pertinent expertise together in collective endeavour to realise a sporting facility of such standard in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
From its humble origins Arnos Vale Cricket Ground was really not particularly accommodating of football while athletics was granted almost seasonal usage.
Of course with the advent of changes in regional cricket and the upward mobility of Arnos Vale as a venue football has been given use much les grudgingly and athletics has been shifted out of the facility almost at will.
Indeed there have been times when it appeared that the NSC was so keen on the facility being the preserve of cricket that others were often made to feel that they were merely being tolerated and that at any time, even without notice they could be displaced.