All too often sport administrators ignore the reality that without participants, athletes, there is no sport. Failure to consider the needs of the athletes for their development in sport weighs heavily on the overall national development process.
Football is currently the nation’s most popular sport. This fact is, however, not in any way reflected in the membership of the NSC or in their major decision-making process. The opportunities for many of the poor in our society to make their way into professional football and to access sports scholarships are now better than ever and the governmental authorities especially at the level of the NSC seem ignorant of this fact. Their emphasis continues to be on Cricket and little else.
Scholarships for those involved in athletics are on the rise while the sport is fast becoming like Football and Rugby in terms of its athletes being professionals. The chances of our athletes in Football and Athletics accessing scholarships and gaining professional opportunities are infinitesimally greater than those involved in Cricket yet this reality is not being acknowledged by the NSC, to say nothing of the blinkered LOC.
Equity and progress do not appear to have been concepts adopted by the NSC and/or the LOC. Rather, there has been mush to convince us of evidence of sport prejudice.
Minister of Sport, Glenn Beache, seems to be taking closer interest in what is happening in sport in the state. As yet, however, this interest has not transformed into the establishment of a stronger NSC that takes on board all aspects of the national sport development process. There continues to be wastage of already scarce resources in sport at the governmental level. The presence of coaches at the level of a Division of Sport continues to befuddle those
concerned with genuine development.
The Minister has to take on board the chronic injustice brought to bear on those other sporting disciplines apart from Cricket that need to use playing fields in the state. He has the power to intervene and make sense of the nonsense that has thus far been foisted upon the sports fraternity here as development. It is farcical and must be stopped.