Urgently needed, a collective approach to national sports development

It is often a case where even when associations submit their infrastructural needs they get no response.
For example, while so much money is being spent on Sion Hill, Arnos Vale and Stubbs, Campden Park remains without a pavilion and has no toilet facilities. Any activity scheduled for that venue means that more often than not they are played under relatively unsanitary conditions when the neighbours and neighbouring school are not able to make their toilet facilities available.
It is much the same story at Buccament Playing Field.
Even scheduling is often a problem.
The NSC, for example, has failed to respond to at least one association’s request for information, several months before the dismantling of Arnos Vale, Stubbs and Sion Hill playing fields, for information regarding wh
ere it stood in respect of the completion of its schedule for 2006 which has been submitted in 2005.
In the end it was a case of having to grab at last minute options.
In the absence of meetings with the sports fraternity the NSC has recently requested of national sports associations, among other things, their schedules for 2007. It is a moot request for athletics and football since it seems that only cricket receives adequate consideration by the NSC for the allocation of playing fields.
One cannot therefore expect athletics and football to be able to schedule the use of facilities without knowing what is available.
It is also common for other associations to have their annual calendars readily available to the NSC as much as six months before the commencement of the new year and still find that cricket can submit their schedule in January only to get access to facilities almost at will because they have been allocated regional and/or international matches.
In other words, cricket and football tend to have this problem where once the regional and/or international body does its scheduling it becomes a fait acompli.
It is as though they can do nothing in terms of impacting the scheduling of their respective regional and international bodies as happens in athletics.

Collective approach
No one wants to deny cricket the opportunity to develop but it must not be given most favoured status among other sporting disciplines in need of facilities in a country with scarce resources.
Every sport practised in the country must have some forum at which it can declare its purpose as well as development thrust. Each must show how it fits in with the broader national development of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The NSC must get its house in order and meet frequently enough with national sports associations if it is to be in any way relevant in Vincentian society.
There has to be a meeting of minds among national sports associations to shape the way forward in terms of sporting development.
The current lopsided approach to sports development is not really development. It is a sham, a farce and bodes no good for any of the organisations currently involved in sports in the state.
National sports associations do need to meet regularly and plan together in a realistic manner for the future.
The Vincentian economy cannot afford the development of all requisite sports infrastructure at once but over time there must be the establishment of priorities and the gradual pursuit of excellence beginning with the very approach to administration of each sport.
The time has come for us to be realistic about our sports development.
We have been unduly tardy and must change that immediately if we are to progress.