No competition is considered a success without spectators and so the scheduling of the competitions must take this into consideration.
In addition to the foregoing critical components of the planning exercise there are several attendant issues which impact the success of the Games.
The pending Windward Islands Games involves secondary school students. In many respects the students of this sub region appear significantly different in operational modus than their counterparts of the past and hence it remains particularly important that the host country is able to guarantee parents the safety and security of their children while they are in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
It should be noted here that the safety and secur
ity of the children involves much more than police protection from harm through crime. It must also involve protecting them from the seemingly rabid tendency towards sexual promiscuity among the school-age population of today.
At a recent meeting of sports administrators here calls were made by one of the representatives of the Sports Medicine Association in St Vincent and the Grenadines for more education sessions to be held with the young sportspeople of the country. The representative expressed grave concern following first hand experience of the irresponsible conduct of some Vincentian sports persons some time ago.
When the Windward Islands Games Village was located at the CW Prescod Government School similar fears were raised about the sexual conduct and ill-discipline of some participants.
In today’s world sport is an important part of the entertainment industry. It is therefore very important that while in St Vincent and the Grenadines the visiting delegations are exposed to sport as entertainment.
Given the tightness of the sports programme at the Games it is imperative that the organisers find creative ways of allowing the visitors exposure to the entertainment and culture of St Vincent and the Grenadines. It is always sad when athletes travel to another country and return home without ever being able to speak in some measure about the culture of the society in which they would have spent some time.
We are only a few months away from hosting the Windward Islands Secondary Schools’ Games and we have not seen anything about it in the media by way of information and sensitisation.
The presence here of hundreds of students for the Games must mean that we should alert the entire population so that they can be welcomed in a very special way. They are our youths, the future of the sub region.
Surely the authorities would want people, students and parents to support the athletes from St Vincent and the Grenadines, but also those from abroad as they engage in friendly competition. Athletes are motivated to higher levels of achievement when they hear the roar of people in the stands. It is therefore important that those planning the event work on deliberate strategies to get people to the stands in support of the athletes.
The hosting of the Windward Islands Games is a national undertaking. Our resources are being expended to facilitate the project and so we should all be involved.
We certainly do hope that the planners would broaden the involvement of persons with the relevant expertise in the various areas of work to ensure that the event is a resounding success.
It is also important that the local authorities facilitate the preparation of a national representative team that would serve the country well. Some are already in training and must now be taken to another level in preparation for the Games.
Local technical officials must also be trained to facilitate the conduct of the Games in an atmosphere of Fair Play.
While we do wish St Vincent and the Grenadines to do very well on the field of play, we must nonetheless excel at producing this edition of the Games thereby facilitating an experience that all participants would remember for all time.