Crisis in Vincentian sports
Then there is the Carnival Development Corporation, an arm of the Government, which saw and perhaps continues to see the Victoria Park as its own fiefdom during the period 1 May through to the end of the third week in July.
The ‘Carnival City’ operations are such that it takes several weeks and probably months after their conclusion before the facility is ready for any sort of sporting activity. This means that even the schools in the vicinity are denied usage of the facility for a considerable period thereafter.
Political parties could also have gained access to the Victoria Park while a major football competition is in progress, much to the surprise of the SVGFF or the particular competition organisers.
It has been common in the past to have the SVGFF submit its entire request for use of the Victoria Park for any given year and have it approved by the Kingstown Town Board, then to later hear advertisements on the electronic media indicating that this or that entertainment event is scheduled for a particular set of dates. This would have been done without any formal communication with the SVGFF, so disrespectful was the Kingstown Town Board to the SVGFF and to footballers generally in this country.
The Kingstown Town Board apparently did not see any benefit to be derived from facilitating regular meetings of the stakeholders in the interest of all concerned and to ensure optimum utilisation of the Victoria Park, a major resource in this country.
The Victoria Park, admittedly, is most central. It has been fitted with stands that can accommodate a relatively large number of patrons for any given event.
The Victoria Park has also been encircled in a manner that allows for the collection of entrance fees from patrons to whatever event is held there.
In the absence of any alternative, the Victoria Park has emerged as an everything facility.
In contrast, the Arnos Vale # 1 Playing Field is heavily guarded by the National Sports Council, NSC, with cricket being the established priority.
While athletics and football are allowed use of the Arnos Vale # 1, there is no doubt in the understanding of the NSC that once cricket is fixtured nothing else can happen.