Much has been written and said about the value of physical education and sport in the life of an individual but there seems little interest in these twin disciplines at the level of the family in St Vincent and the Grenadines. There seems much justification in appealing for the family to pay more attention to the importance of getting its members fit and to support the children’s involvement in physical education and sport.
The recent revelations regarding the Prime Minister’s obesity and the apparent warnings he may have received about any failure to address it should raise some major concerns among those at the helm of the Ministry of Health and the Environment as much as it should at the level of the Ministries of Education and Tourism, Youth and Sport.
It must be the concern of all of us that as a nation we have failed to impress on each other that fitness is important to the overall quality of life of the populace. We must understand what the situation is and seek to redress it immediately.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines there are only a few sports which can boast any genuine measure of parental involvement and support for their children’s involvement. Parents are more favourably disposed to being there with their children in tennis, swimming and squash. Traditionally, these sports have been seen as essentially involving the members of the upper and upper middle classes. There are those who would readily suggest that over the past two decades the governing bodies for the aforementioned sports have made a concerted effort to broaden participation and this has been accomplished to some extent.
Some may also suggest that in the case of swimming parents are overly concerned about the possibility of drowning and therefore tend to want to be present at almost every session until such time as they consider their children sufficiently adept at the necessary skills. Even so the parents also tend to work with the governing body to raise funds and to support the organisation in taking representative teams abroad. Often times the parents of young swimmers go the extra mile to travel with representative teams in order to be there with their children. Here again there are those who would argue that it is because many of the parents can afford the attendant costs to be there.