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Build on it

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The key to any form of recovery is making the first step.

For years, the Sion Hill community was the beacon of sports, the epitome of excellence, when it came to organizing sporting events.{{more}}

But with time, changes took place in personnel, the demographics of the community went through some reconfiguration, and things gradually fell by the way side.

Many had cast the final rites on the community that held others’ hands, envied the all round prowess, but came to respect the achievements, which are yet unmatched.

Kings of the road; among the best in Football and Cricket; they held their own in Netball, Table Tennis and Body Building.

Today, Netball and Football are the two sports which the community can boast of having some representation.

In the cultural sphere, the Sion Hill community kept stride with the other big names.

But the achievements are past, and are part of the community’s folklore and oral history that still give the Sion Hillarians their bragging rights. But one cannot dwell on what used to be.

The youngsters of the community were taken on a trip back in time, to show what things used to be like thirty years or more ago. The recent Sion Hill Inter Village Football Competition was a lesson for them of community involvement and how to forge relationships despite the dynamics.

The competition relieved the villagers temporarily of their problems, as on afternoons they found a release valve, and made full use of it. Everyone knew one another and everyone looked out for one another. It was a total community effort, as only persons who were born in Sion Hill and who are residents of the community were eligible to participate.

What it also did was to bridge the generation gap, as there was no age restriction. Persons who were not familiar with some of the players were given the family lineage by those who knew. And, there some interesting situations. There were instances where four brothers and three of their nephews were on the field at the same time.

There was also the case of a father and son matching their skills for one team, and in another, the lone young lady who braved the gender bias to be on the same team with her fiancé.

In addition, the match officials were drawn only from the villages which make up the community, and for the record, there was an occasion where in one match the three officials were all brothers. And who said volunteerism is totally out of the window, as on days when officials were hard to come by, persons came forward to ensure the competition was not stalled.

Many stars were born not only on the field of play, but from the respective villages potential administrators emerged, as they were asked to step up to the plate.

Additionally, persons came forward voluntarily and made their input of cash and kind to the competition, recognizing how much it had impacted positively on the community.

Interestingly, too, many youngsters used the occasion to hone their skills on other parts of the field, even into the night, while the Netball matches were taking place, providing some off the field entertainment as well as enhancing their personal football talents.

This has prompted a call by some persons to bring the Under-16’s in the fray in their own competition.

The successes of the Football competition has pricked the emotions of those in charge of the other facets of the sporting landscape of community, to get their act together, and show that there is still an untapped abundance of sporting and cultural talents that reside in Sion Hill.

Not to be caught up in the present euphoria as the recent successes cannot be seen as one off, but taking advantage of the current hype is paramount.

Reclaiming the heights attained when the Sion Hill community was the bastion of sports is difficult, but not impossible, as there has been a change over time in adoption of certain values, among other things. But re-building will take a renewed effort and a refocused approach, with the current trends bases for survival and continuity.

Let the strains of Lexi’s 1986 rendition of “Move on Sion Hill” as he paid tribute to the Hill be applicable once more.

But what for certain will need the opposite approach is that “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.