The Victoria Park
The Victoria Park has a very rich sporting legacy. But one is not likely to know this from the way in which the government of the day, of any day it would appear, treats this particular plot of land.
That the current political administration has placed the Victoria Park under the management of the National Lotteries Authority is but a reflection of its inability to even acknowledge that there is no more attractive sports facility in the Kingstown area.
What is more is that the authorities have not even the democratic will to involve the many sportspersons who have fond memories of the Victoria Park as a sports venue, or the many sporting organizations for whom this venue is part of their own rich history, in any sort of discussions relative to the future of the arena.
Victoria park is one of the most unkempt piece of real estate in the country yet it is also the venue that is subjected to the attention of the government of the day for its premier activities.
The approach of successive governments to the transformation of the Victoria Park has been consistent with their respective approaches to the management of the country at the political level – vapse. Nothing appears ever planned and yet we shamelessly hoist it aloft as our Cultural centerpiece and the annual carnival City where the prestigious Miss Carival is demeaned by its very deplorable and inappropriate state.
Victoria Park has systematically lost its place as a sporting venue because of the indecisiveness of successive governments as well as the unwillingness of the sports fraternity of this country to stand up in defense of their right to the venue for sporting activities.
Cricket! Cricket! Cricket!
There is no gainsaying the fact that successive governments appear to have lost focus and have allowed the NSC to see cricket as the be-all and end-allof sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The NSC does help other sporting disciplines but almost always in a rather condescending manner.
It is unfortunate that with no more than 20 nations considered reputable cricketing nations across the entire world, at the local level the authorities appear to give the impression that making the West Indies team is the only possible ambition for a Vincentian athlete.
The number of Vincentians who have made the West Indies team continues o be minimal and not because of any shortage of facilities at the local level. Cricketers are even allowed to smash the advertising boards of sponsors of the NSC with impunity while at the same time players of other sporting disciplines may be scolded for much less.
Opportunities for careers are available in basketball, volleyball, tennis and athletics yet the facilities for these activities, with the possible exception of tennis, are well below acceptable standards for the most part.
While other sports associations continue to bang their heads against seemingly brick walls in the country for the benefit of the poor and disadvantaged in so many areas, cricket does not have to even make a case so fortunate are its adherents.
The Victoria Park