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Call for order

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No longer are prize giving ceremonies at the end of the various area Netball competitions meaningful!

That is an undeniable fact, based on the reactions of our women folk to the occasions.{{more}}

Having been present at the closing ceremonies of the Marriaqua and Calliaqua competitions, two consecutive weekends, the experiences were appalling.

On both occasions, our netballers displayed attitudes that are tantamount to disregard and ingratitude to those who arranged the activities for them to hone their skills.

Some persons were totally oblivious to what was going on at the podia. Some chose to laugh out loudly in a disruptive manner, showing indifference, when they were the toasts of the times.

Their audible comments, many lewd and vile, were more suitable for market scenes, rather than a recognition of talents.

To compound the issues, recipients of prizes, many with the knowledge that were going to be awarded, chose to dress rather inappropriately.

It is for this reason that at times at these ceremonies one has to be very selective of who is given a showcase in the newspaper, as they often times are not suitably attired to be photographed.

Mind you, there are some teams that adhere to the being fully uniformed at the closing ceremonies. Top marks to those.

Still on the downside, from my recent observations, some players even departed the venues while persons at the head table were still addressing them. Gross disrespect!

In one instance, at the Calliaqua opening, one player chose to change her skirt on the court while the match was in progress, while wearing the bare essential under garment.

It is a slap in the faces of the sponsors who have taken their hard earned monies and who could have done otherwise, granted the tightness of their budgets.

But our women seem not to understand and are going merrily along, parading down a shameful path.

Whilst such behaviours are not new, they are fast becoming the norm, rather than the exception.

It is for these reasons and others why we are experiencing a steep decline in Netball and other sports, as our sportswomen and sportsmen seem not to be aware that they, too, have a moral and social responsibility to give back to the sponsors and at the same time uphold the ideals of the respective sporting disciplines.

Therefore, some standards must be set first of all by the area committees and carried through by the national Executive.

I am aware that at the closing of the National Club Tournaments, only persons in uniform are allowed to accept their prizes. But more can be done to ensure that greater emphasis and value are placed on the importance of reward.

With a new President leading the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association, I am certain that Mr. Godfrey Harry will bring to bear his high standards on the activities under the banner of his organisation.

I would be very disappointed if he allows this aspect to be condoned to add to the downward trend of Netball.

It may be high time, too, for the national Executive to institute operational guidelines on the area committees, and ensure minimal standards for them.

This includes streamlining of teams to avoid duplication of efforts, as well as other capacity building structures.

But charity begins at home, and Harry and his charges must first lead the way in these regards.

The current national competition should then be used as the model for Netball competitions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The talk about getting back St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Netball to the glory days cannot only be achieved by national teams excelling at regional and international competitions, but also breaking the shackles of societal norms of ill discipline is a prerequisite.

Also a precursor, is the complete removal of the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.