There is nothing that means the more advanced athletics Caribbean countries necessarily have to help those that are not yet at their level but one would have imagined that if we do believe that sport facilitates unity then this should be evident.
In the recent past we have seen the emergence of several Caribbean countries as relatively powerful football nations. Here again there has not been any real sense of regional unity in this area of sporting endeavour.
The impact of the successes of the region’s footballers has not spread beyond generously applauding their efforts. Avid football fans can and often do recall the names of outstanding performers from the different countries but that is the best that we say. Nothing has been done through football to advance the cause of Caribbean unity. For all of the talk of a Caribbean Football Union (CFU) the cause of regionalism has not been on the front burner of this particular organisation. At best it has merely been a conduit for the sowing of the seeds of exposure for young footballers beyond local shores.
The Caricom Heads of Government have not yet shown themselves to be possessive of an understanding and appreciation of the role that sport can play in uniting the peoples of the region. They pay lip service to the importance of cricket to the peoples of the region and even went so far as to allow themselves to be ‘bushwacked’ into funding the CWC2007 without, I dare say, a fulsome understanding of precisely what was enta
iled in the undertaking.
The recent acceptance of the so-called “Wellness Revolution” as per the Port of Spain Declaration has become the latest ill-directed decision of the Heads of Government of the regional body and perhaps, more than anything else, points to the extent to which they continue to miss the boat in respect of what sport has done and continues to do in terms of building international recognition of many of the countries of the Caribbean.
The reality, however, is that the stance of the Caribbean Heads of Government is not at all surprising since among themselves they cannot agree to taking firm decisions and stand by them in relation to the business of Caribbean unity.