Suffice it to say that it appears that some measure of inertia driven by a lethargy that characterised the leadership of sports at the governmental level for some time has stymied the pace with which change has been effected in sports. This has been at best most unfortunate.
There still remains some vestiges of that lethargy, however, and until such time as it is recognised for what it is there will be ongoing conflict in the sports development process here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The time has obviously come for the authorities to put an end to the seeming conflict between the Division of Sports on the one hand and the Ministry of Education on the other.
This is St Vincent and the Grenadines and it is unacceptable that those responsible for the two different components of the twin disciplines of physical education and sports seem to be working at odds with each other.
The truth is that as at present constituted the Division of Sports has no role in the nation’s schools before the bell rings to complete the instructional time each day. Their work as coaches can only truly begin after 3.00 pm. This is as it should be given their qualifications and mandate. The coaches should be working with schools between 3.00 pm and 5.00 pm and with community groups and national sports associations and clubs thereafter.
The involvement of the Division of Sports with the schools otherwise should be to collaborate with the Ministry of Education and PESTA in the preparation of competitive programmes but in such a manner as to facilitate ultimately the acceptance of greater responsibility for these events by the Principals themselves through a deliberately established Schools Sports Association. This latter organisation should involve the respective national sports associations and of course PESTA must be fully integrated into it.
There has to be new thinking. Principals are increasingly managers and must undertake the greater responsibilities that come with the territory. The Government must make available the necessary remuneration packages that would facilitate better and more dedicated management in this regard.
The time has come for an end to lip service to physical education and sport in the nation’s schools. The genuine development of our children, the nation’s future, demands this change.