Revisiting the National Sports Policy Part I

A cursory glance at the infrastructural components of the policy reflects just how far removed we are today in respect of implementing it. There is really no effort made to involve stakeholders in the development of sports infrastructure. The classic example is the recently reconstructed Arnos Vale Sports Complex. The tragedy here is that the persons who were at the helm of the process seemingly considered themselves sufficiently knowledgeable and competent to steer clear of the involvement of the primary users of the facility. The legacy that is left therefore is a reflection of their incompetence and inability to seek advice from those in possession of the requisite knowledge.
The end result has been a facility that should, properly speaking, cater for cricket, football, athletics and rugby, is really a cricket venue.
If the intention was to create a home for cricket then that should have been expressly stated and a plan articulated that addresses the issue of homes for the other sporting disciplines in the country.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines the determination of the location of a sports facility is made on purely political grounds, nothing else. The politicians locate facilities where they deem it politically expedient and unfortunately, tap into the resources of the treasury and the National Lotteries Author
ity to compound their shoddy decisions in this regard.
Only a politician possessive of a myopic vision could justify considering what exists at Calvary as a playing field. It is a crying shame for a politician to offer this to a community and to gloat over it to the point of conducting an opening ceremony for some work done on it some time ago.
None of the existing sports facilities, inclusive of the recently, expensively reconstructed Arnos Vale, has been built with due consideration for the persons with disability in the state – a reflection of a distinct bias in an age where greater attention is being given to the needs of this segment of our society in all areas of endeavour.
For all the money spent at Arnos Vale, Sion Hill and Stubbs, it is reprehensible that no consideration was given to these persons.
The North Leeward, Barrouallie and Marriaqua Sports Associations have long been established.
Attempts at establishing Area Sports Committees (ASC) have essentially floundered largely because many seem to think that the politics of the potential members must be of the right hue. This has meant that some of the prime movers of sport in different communities have continued to work outside the ambit of any such strategy on the part of the National Sports Council (NSC). Indeed some seem to think that the NSC has apparently forgotten this particular aspect of its mandate, albeit to the detriment of its work in communities across St Vincent and the Grenadines.