Voluntarism and national sports organisations (Part I)
Volunteers of the early period saw their involvement in sports as offering the participants a sense of belonging, a feeling that the community and indeed the wider Vincentian society cared enough for them to want to encourage them to engage themselves in meaningful activities of a sporting nature. Technology was not as prevalent as is the case today and the cinema and later, the television, were the other primary means of occupying one’s free time. This meant that sports came to play a critical role in the use of people’s time within communities.
Sport Voluntarism Today
Analysis of the general modus of national sporting organisations in St Vincent and the Grenadines today suggests that no consideration is given to matching persons with the requirements of the office to which he/she is being elected or to the importance of having a competent, qualified team as an Executive in the best interest of the sport. Little thought is also given to relating the individual nominees to their own performances in their respective organisations prior to being offered up for election. It appears that it is their interest in sport and not so much their academic/experiential qualifications that single them out for election to the top positions within the organisation.
For the most part, recruitment policies are lacking among voluntary organisations where it relates to potential Executive Members. No national sports organisation includes in its constitution any criteria for the persons who are to be nominated to contest the respective Executive positions beyond the fact that he/she should be a bona fide member. Little thought is given to identifying appropriately qualified personnel and deliberately attracting them to contest elections for positions on the Executive Committees. Literally any individual who is affiliated is eligible regardless of qualification or competence in respect of the requirements of the positions being contested. Nowhere is there any evidence of any national sporting organisation ever having deliberately discussed the matter of recruitment of volunteers to serve on Executive Committees in terms of the needs of the various organisations and the calibre or competence of individuals required to serve on Executive Committees to adequately satisfy these needs.
National sports organisations appear to rely heavily on one or two persons, at most, who are deemed capable of leading the organisation. These are then surrounded, or some may suggest that they su
rround themselves, by a number of other Executive members who are not likely to challenge them in any way in respect of ideas or decision-making and of whom personal loyalty is demanded.
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