In the previous column dated 25 April 2008 we looked at the threat to the future of our youth posed by the significant growth in the use of drugs by athletes for one reason or another. Many of the athletes seek to gain a competitive advantage through the use of drugs while others are steeped in the use and abuse of recreational drugs some of which are illegal and almost all of which are harmful to the human condition.
It seems very important for us in St Vincent and the Grenadines to ask ourselves just how much are we doing to bring our children and youths into sport as a viable lifestyle option.
It is important to know whether we do have any programmes aimed at engaging our children and youth in sport, how these have been developed, who are conducting them and are they being evaluated periodically and corrective action taken as quickly and as appropriately as necessary.
The critical issue, really, is whether or not we care enough about our children and youth to do more for them so that they can enjoy life to the full in the society in which they were fortunate enough to have been born.
The case of St Vincent & the Grenadines
There is much talk about the development of sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines and not all of it is good. Many have grown cynical about the lack of leadership of any sort from the governmental authorities who seem to appreciate sport only in so far as it has utilitarian political value to their own future.
The National Olympic Committee (NOC) with the support of its affiliates initiated the National Sports Policy. It is these organisations that drive the implementation of different aspects of that Policy.
In the absence of any leadership at the governmental level it is the various national sporting organisations that have attempted to take up the challenge to engage in the development of sport.