We have repeatedly addressed the state of affairs in respect of our sports facilities in St Vincent and the Grenadines and there is now little reason to believe that anyone in authority is listening.
For all of the bravado of our political leadership of the government’s commitment to sport, the utilisation of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Grammar School Playing Field for the latest Agricultural Exhibition gives the lie to all of it.
Vincentians must have already lost count of the millions of dollars invested in the Grammar School Playing Field. We seem to be pouring money into a hideous ‘black hole’ without due consideration to the wastage that is taking place.
Like Arnos Vale # 2, the Grammar School Playing Field must be considered a regular plot of flat land for which, at any given point in time, the purpose could be changed without prior notice to anyone.
One can only conclude that in many respects as far as the authorities are concerned the St Vincent Grammar School Playing Field is little more than the nation’s Agricultural Play Pen.
We have been fed the nonsense that we are in a new political dispensation and that the ruling Unity Labour Party has committed itself to the sport development process in the first ever Youth Manifesto produced in this country and repeated in the second one as well.
We have also been told that we are living in a consultative democracy and that is supposed to mean that there is ongoing discourse between the government and the many stakeholders in the different aspects of life in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
What is the reality?
We are not really in anything remotely close to a consultative democracy and the leadership continues to make decisions at its own whims and fancies regardless of the consequences for others.
Sports administrators are hardly ever consulted when it comes to the location, design and utilisation of sports facilities in this country, for the most part. The authorities impose on themselves all wisdom and knowledge in respect of the requirements for our sports facilities only to provide the sportspeople with a woefully inadequate facility one occasion after another and no one seems bothered.
The decision to utilise the Grammar School Playing Field for the Agricultural Exhibition was not done in consultation with any of the sporting bodies that utilise this facility for a very wide variety of sporting activities. There were no discussions with the schools in the vicinity who also use the facility for the conduct of their physical education classes on an almost daily basis. The conclusion must be that the leadership does not perceive them as stakeholders in the Grammar School Playing Field.
It would have hurt no one in authority to take the time to dialogue with the stakeholders on this matter. Unfortunately, it appears that we live in a society where there are too many people clamouring to be ‘Chiefs’ and too few willing to be ‘Indians’.
Perhaps it is the government’s way of signalling to the aforementioned organisations and institutions that they are not of any significance in the broad scheme of things that is considered important to the national well being.
It is all a very pathetic state of affairs.