Sports Tourism has often been touted but nothing more than lip-service has as yet been paid. Neighbouring islands have shown the way. We are lagging far behind enough to have the dust constantly in our eyes.
Football has offered an option.
We have seen what is possible with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in the international football arena. We can do no less than forge ahead seeking to benefit from the immense football talent that this country possesses.
There is a sense in which we are left to believe that all that the National Sports Council and the National Lotteries Authority and the Government offer as mechanisms through which national sports associations can seek and obtain financial and other forms of assistance all mean nothing since it is the Minister of Finance that has the final say.
While the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance comments in Parliament were unsavoury, untimely and more than a little embarrassing for all sports-loving Vincentians, we must engage in some fence-mending if we are to move forward as a nation.
Vincy Heat has successfully completed the first phase of its Digicel Cup challenge. The next phase takes place in Barbados effective 19 November. We have another opportunity to come to their assistance.
The team will be playing Barbados, Bahamas and Bermuda, all teams we can handle if we are seriously and adequately prepared in advance.
We cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to get the team in readiness to give good account.
The Football Federation has started a weekly Friday evening Bingo at the Victoria Park to facilitate ongoing fundraising efforts given the extensive undertakings that lie ahead for the several teams that are in training at the present time.
The Government cannot stand idly by and play the political game with the footballers of St Vincent and the Grenadines. In many respects our sportspeople have contributed more to take the name, flag and anthem of St Vincent and the Grenadines farther afield that our political leaders have been able to do. This trend is likely to continue.