The year 2007 has just begun and St Vincent and the Grenadines, like the rest of the Caribbean, seems focused on the pending Cricket World Cup scheduled to commence in March. However there are many issues that are likely to confront those involved in sport during the year and it may serve us in good stead to spend some time, early in the year, addressing some of the more pertinent among them.
Implementing the National Sports Policy
There is every reason for us to press for the National Sports Policy to be implemented. It has been in existence long enough and has been reviewed at least twice since it was produced under the auspices of the National Olympic Committee, NOC.
The National Sports Policy sits in the offices of the authorities here and seems to have little or no bearing on the way things are done in this country in the field of sport.
National sports associations were an integral part of the process of drafting the Policy and its review; however they cannot be satisfied with the limited progress made by way of its implementation. This has led to a relatively high level of frustration among all stakeholders in the various sports practised in the nation.
If we are not yet ready to implement the National Sports Policy as it now exists then perhaps we should simply throw it through the window and forget about it for all time.
There is a major challenge confronting all those involved in sport to call on those in authority to be decisive in respect of the implementation of the National Sports Policy. This is essential if we are to realise our commitment to making sport an integral part of the national development thrust.
In a recent letter to the Tennis Association here relative to the use of the National Tennis Centre, the National Sports Council, NSC, indicated that there is a new approach to the matter. It appears that in that particular letter copies were sent to representatives of a number of other Ministries that were hitherto not involved in anything to do with sports or sports facilities.
The question that the letter begs is whether or not this in fact a new addition to the National Sports Policy. If it is then none of the other national sports associations are as yet aware of any such changes.
We cannot willy-nilly seek to effect changes to a National Sports Policy without due involvement of the primary stakeholders–national sports associations–in the decision-making process.