Inter Financial Sports & Family Day

Saturday 21 April 2012 St Vincent and the Grenadines will again host another edition of the Inter Financial institutions Sports and Family Day at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex. All are invited to witness what has become a most interesting and exciting activity that plays a role, however small, in the overall development of our country.
There are many who still hold the view that sport has nothing to do with our national development. This is unfortunate.
One would hope that this time around Vincentians who utilise the services of our financial institutions would seize the opportunity to witness the management, staff and family thoroughly enjoy themselves together.
12 years ago Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines introduced the idea of an Inter Bank Sports Day in St Vincent and the Grenadines. While the idea was new to St Vincent and the Grenadines for the most part it was not new.
The Royal Bank of Canada had introduced an annual sports day for its branches in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and later when the institution had changed to the Caribbean Banking Corporation the sports day was extended to include branches from across the region.
Trinidad and Tobago had for many years held an annual Inter Bank Sports Day bringing together all of these financial institutions at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
TASVG started the Inter Bank Sports Day and then changed it into the Inter Bank & Family Sports day to what is now the Inter Financial Institutions and Family Sports Day. The change has been most welcomed by all involved.
The intention is merely to facilitate joyful engagement of this important sector of the Vincentian society through sport.
In the Olympic Movement we speak much about the values attendant to the concept of Olympism – friendship, cooperation, unity. The Inter Financial Institutions Sports and Family Day is intended to satisfy these important aspects of participation in sport.
The concept of an Inter Bank or Inter Financial Institutions Sports and Family Day really addresses several important issues in our society.
In the first instance there is the all-important aspect of facilitating a day together engaged in fun-filled friendly competition together for the management and staff of each of the institutions involved.
While it is true that the management and staff are together in their near-frozen environments five days a week they rarely get the opportunity to relax with each other in a manner that allows for the sharing of themselves with each other that is so important for the work environment.
Internationally some institutions take the entire management and staff on a vacation where they engage in a series of activities of a sporting and/or recreational nature intended ultimately to facilitate bonding amongst the fraternity and a growing recognition of their interdependence and its importance to their very survival and continued success as an institution in the world of enterprise competition.
The Sports Day in St Vincent and the Grenadines offers the management and staff the opportunity to collaborate in a relaxed atmosphere for their collective success.
It is common for people working in the same institution, whether large or small, to stay within their won corners and not allow themselves to become fully integrated into the institution. This is not always in the very best interest of the institution that thrives on the development and sustainability of its own corporate culture.
The Sorts and Family Day, in brining management and staff together, facilitates the combination of the talent of people within the organisation that may never have occurred in the normal course of its operations in serving the Vincentian public.
Individuals team up to compete in events that require teamwork without the slightest knowledge, necessarily, of the sporting capabilities of each other.
Others participate in activities simply to ensure that their particular institution garners a point that adds to its overall total.
Yet other participate because they have never done it before and are keen to be a part of something in which no one necessarily bears a grudge whether they end up in first or last place. Participation becomes an end in itself for many of the individuals as well as their institutions.
While obviously some would wish to win medals and trophies the important feature of the exercise is the conviviality that the management and staff share on the occasion.
The annual Inter Financial Sports and Family Day affords each member of staff and management an important opportunity to build the interpersonal relations that they require for the long term success and viability of the institution.
It is sometime surprising to find that some amongst the management and staff possess sporting talent that was neither recognised nor valued in their earlier years.
The broader family
The Inter Financial Institutions Family and Sports Day offers opportunities to the management and staff of the participating institutions to have their family members engage in the competition with them. This is very important as it allows for an extended family network that can only add value to the respective institutions.
Over the years of the Sports Day it has become a very familiar sight to see the children of the management and staff enjoy themselves as they participate in events put on for them during the day.
While the respective institutions do not benefit from any points for events won by their children the experience proves more than enough for the management and staff.
There is little doubt that much more needs to be done to really enhance this aspect of the Sports Day.
Sport is a great vehicle for bringing people together and works wonders in respect of sharing. By involving the family members of the management and staff there is an important sense of togetherness and unity of purpose that emerges that is invaluable to the advancement of the participating institutions in their particular sphere in Vincentian society.
Inter Institutional relations
Another important feature of the Sports and Family Day is the inter-institution relations that are strengthened.
We are aware of the formal inter-institutional relations that are necessitated by their involvement in the financial sector of the Vincentian economy. It is also very important that we use sport as a vehicle to forge greater relations between all members of management and staff of the respective institutions.
For St Vincent and the Grenadines more generally, it seems important that we facilitate collaboration and cooperation on as many fronts as possible.
We often underplay the immense contributions that sport can play in the harmonising of the efforts of our people and the institutions to which they belong and work. This annual Sports and Family Day affords an opportunity to enhance the relations of the people within the institutions even though as is the case on the field and so too in the financial sector they often engage in some sort of rivalry. These rivalries must never be allowed to facilitate neglect of each other as Vincentians living and working to forge a harmonious nation.
Over the past several years participation in the annual Inter Financial Institutions Sports and Family Day has been fluctuating. There have also been issues with how far the extension of participation can go.
Now there is a more systematic and progressive approach to the organisation of the event. Each of the participating institutions has a representative on the Organising Committee. This latter institution determines all aspects of the organisation of the event, inclusive of the budget.
No national athlete except those working at the participating institutions can participate.
This year’s event should yield enhanced participation as well as improved performances.
Other aspects
As has happened previously there would be face painting of children as well as a slew of events to occupy the children while the adults get some rest between events.
Commercial houses in St Vincent and the Grenadines with sport products have been encouraged to offer promotional items during the Inter Financial Institutions Sports and Family Day.
As always the respective participating institutions would cater to the needs of their members, family and friends with their array of meals and beverages, all intended to create an atmosphere of fun and togetherness.
It is fitting that the event always concludes with the Tug-O-War. While there is always a winner, this latter event brings together everyone eager to show that in the final analysis the real winner is sport and social harmony.