The absence of a culture of physical education and sport is easily recognized from even the most cursory analysis. This is the reason for increasing members of the nations youth so readily fall prey to the appeal of the latest computer games.
More teachers and parents are today lamenting the difficulties experienced when trying to get students/children to use their recess periods for engaging in physical activities, as happened in years past.
Students lose themselves in the pushing of buttons on the latest computer game and, even more recently, using their cell phones to either make calls to friends, sometimes in the same school or sending and receiving text messages.
Parents do not themselves show enough interest in their own physical fitness and overall well being to impact positively their children. The same can be said of many of our teachers.
The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sport and all of the national sport associations as well as persons with an understanding and appreciation of the importance of physical well-being, must therefore come together to fashion a national physical education policy that would eventually lead to the emergence of a national physical education and sports culture.
Culture is the way of life of a people. So says Ralph Linton.
It means therefore that the task ahead requires all of the aforementioned stakeholders to work consistently at encouraging Vincentians to inculcate the good habits associated with healthy living and especially physical fitness. This is a prerequisite for the development of the physical education and sports culture being proposed here.
Interestingly, the emergence of a culture of physical education and sport will yield immense benefits. Among these benefits will be significantly increased interest and participation in and support for these twin disciplines across St Vincent and the Grenadines.
We will also find improvements in the quality of performance delivered by our athletes in sports and physical education.
Additionally, our students may do better academically while our employees are likely to increase productivity.
A healthy nation is also more productive.
Finally, sports unite a nation behind outstanding and consistently good performers and performances. It is perhaps most unfortunate that it took Trinidad and Tobagos national football teams qualification for the 2006 World Cup Finals for that countrys Prime Minister to recognize this fact.
It is perhaps never too old to learn.
There is no doubt that St Vincent and the Grenadines could benefit from the unifying aspects of a national culture of physical education and sports.
Let the process begin.