If Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is desirous of having Vincentians believing that he is serious about the ‘wellness revolution’ he needs to leave his bed on mornings and walk. He needs to lose the weight. He must push himself away from the table and exercise greater restraint in this regard. He needs to show by example that he, too, can get fit and allow the nation to see in him its many benefits. When the PM engages in the foregoing only then will he be able to engage in some serious discussion on the importance of sport to the well being of the human condition. Only then would he see the importance of shaking Caricom to its foundations by beginning to genuinely emphasise sport as critical to the development of the region and important in the regional integration process.
Change of focus
The time has come for our political leaders to engage in some serious self-analysis in respect of their own understanding of the rol
e of sport in regional development.
Sport Tourism has emerged as a sort of new phenomenon in the language of some of the region’s political leaders. They do not even recognise how long several of their counterparts have been engaged in such a practice and how much these people have given to the phenomenon in their annual national budgets.
Discussions at the level of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) rarely seem to focus attention on this aspect of the global economy. European countries have long since reaped a heavy harvest from sports tourism while we languished in the throes of backwardness unable to distinguish between sport as an economic entity, a social reality and development option and frivolity.
The time has come for the politicians who lead us in the Caribbean to learn the art of listening. They are not the fonts of intelligence and astute analysis even though they may believe themselves to be. They must address the genuine concerns of the peoples of the region.
Sport cuts across the barriers that have historically divided us. The time has come for the Heads of Government to change course and allow the true role of sport to emerge and in the process, allow the integration process to progress.