Revisiting the club concept in SVG

Deliberate action

National sports associations should seek to deliberately foster the development of clubs and reduce the number of teams in existence. Indeed one may suggest here that teams should not be accepted as members of these national representative bodies.

Even at the community level, clubs should be the organisational framework from which players are drawn to compete in the various competitions. A club can establish as many sections as it desires expedient and necessary. For example, Sion Hill can have a number of men’s and women’s teams – senior, junior and veterans – each of which can participate in different competitions in the country.

If sport is to survive in St Vincent and the Grenadines it is necessary that clubs develop themselves and that they be community based, for the most part. National associations should encourage the development of multisport clubs given the state of the economy and the capacity of the local private sector to support a multiplicity of such organisations.

The suggestion here is that there be a meeting of minds among national sports associations to assist existing clubs to consider expanding themselves to incorporate the players who are now associated with teams.

Clubs will enhance the sport development process in St Vincent and the Grenadines in many ways. Participation in sport will be better structured. Clubs will become more professional in their operations over time. They will also facilitate more deliberately the building of character, discipline, communication and interpersonal skills among their membership.

Clubs will secure better and longer term sponsorship and offer higher levels of accountability. They will be able to offer national sports associations to which they are affiliated more experienced and capable personnel to serve on executive committees and so guarantee the sustainability of both sets of organisations.

There are significant benefits that will accrue to the national sport development process if we gradually allow the teams to make way for the development of clubs.