The successes of athletes in the Caribbean have been achieved where there are facilities to support the development process.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines the authorities have been less than generous in respect of the provision of adequate facilities. This is the point to be gleaned from the seeming impasse between the Cricket Association and the National Sports Council. When Cricket can officially complain about facilities then we are in dire straights since for all involved in sport in St Vincent and the Grenadines the NSC has, since its establishment, been overwhelmingly generous to Cricket, above all other sports.
But there is this reality of the
playing of politics with sport.
There remains no sport development strategy on the part of the government and this is not new. It has been the accusation levelled at all governments since independence.
In the absence of any sports development strategy the national sports policy seems intended to operate in a vacuum.
The identification of what sports facilities to build at which location is decidedly political. There is no consultation with sports associations and certainly no gelling of ideas in respect of a developmental orientation in this regard.
While successive governments have seen it fit to boast of the National Lottery being in place for sport and culture the reality is that those involved in sport have little to show in respect of their inputs in the decision making process here.
The NOC has consistently expended significantly more resources on the sport development process in St Vincent and the Grenadines than any government since 1987. It has trained more athletes, coaches and administrators, provided more sport equipment, facilitated access to more high-level competitions for Vincentians than any other organisation in the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Unfortunately, the percentage of those trained who return to give something back to the national sport development process as opposed to hanging their certificates on the walls of their homes, is so pathetically low that it is most embarrassing. Instead what we are witnessing is a clamouring for remuneration for any contribution requested. Little attention is paid to the resources expended to facilitate their training in the first instance.