More Lip than Service to Sport – Part II

National Sports Associations
Once more the annual budget made no direct provision for the funding of national sports associations. One can only hazard a guess that in much the same way that the athletics and football federations are apparently not expected to make valuable contributions to the development of the national stadium, in much the same way no national association is considered sufficiently important to the Government of the day to be duly recognised as a genuinely national entity.
National sports associations
continue to experience all sorts of difficulties in respect of their modus. They are hardly consulted on any matter. They literally have to beg for assistance.
Successive Governments have failed, without exception, to ensure sufficient dialogue takes place with national sports associations such as would allow for the emergence of a national sports plan.
Government officials traverse the globe without being in possession of a macro development strategy for sport enough to facilitate negotiations for equipment and pertinent expertise as well as sport exchanges in critical areas. It often appears that if it is not on the agenda of the Prime Minister it is not on anybody else’s.
There is no understanding at a governmental of the national situation regarding sports. There is no information base on what is happening in the various sporting associations relative to sports development.
It is utter rubbish to speak about a sports tourism thrust when there is as yet no fundamental dialogue among the stakeholders, most particularly with associations.
The absence of the national sports associations in any substantive way in the annual budgetary process is symptomatic of the abysmally low level of priority accorded them in the development plans of the government of the day.

National Sports Policy
On accession to office in 2001 the then Minister of Sports, Mike Browne, engaged the sporting community in a revision of the National Sports Policy under the leadership of the National Sports Council, headed at the time by Garth Saunders.
The initial National Sports Policy was developed via extensive consultations by the National Olympic Committee of St Vincent and the Grenadines and stayed on the shelves of the previous administration for an unduly long period before being eventually approved by the Cabinet.