Justifying rewards in local sports participation
Last week, this column chose to delve into the cost of producing top performances in sports. It was agreed that consistent returns worthy of medals, accolades and titles, do not come easy. They are attained by hard work, persistence and of course the need for financial support.
Similarly, once the work is put in and the relative performances are achieved, then it is only just that the sportsmen and women are rewarded.
Whilst everyone understands that we here in St Vincent and the Grenadines are not gifted with an inordinate amount of financial wealth to disburse in sports, at least, there must be some justification for those who excel above others.
Gone are the days when a trophy would suffice and cherished by someone who does well in a particular sports. Today, financial rewards are what are cutting it.
This is no way stating that money is all of it, and that our sportsmen and women should not be engaged in sports for their personal development, such as maintaining their physical attributes and pride of representing their clubs, communities and their country.
But the reality is that the extrinsic motivation of getting a financial recompense at the end of one’s participation is key to improvement in performances.
A case in point was the recent hosting of the Vincy Premier League (VPL), editions one and two, in which players were paid for their efforts. Although a comparatively small match fee, players welcomed it and this was evident, as they actually sought to up their performances.
It therefore goes without saying that prize monies act as stimuli and a plus. Hence, it is factual that players and teams will often weigh the circumstances, such as their expenses as against the possible prize monies, before choosing to compete in local tournaments.
It is for the said reason that some teams are disgruntled when they are rewarded in the various leagues, namely the softball cricket, netball and football competitions, staged in the various communities.
Conversely, many of the current clubs which compete in the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s National Club Championships are wooed by the prize monies. For instance, the premier division champion gets $20 000, where the first division winner earns $10,000.
Likewise, the second division winners, as well as the senior female champions, earned some cash awards of relative significance.
Whilst some may say these financial awards not enough in lieu of the cost incurred for them to participate, it is a far cry of what obtained three years ago, and in the context of what is our current economic situation.
Despite the prevailing circumstances, more can be done by the national body, as individual monetary incentives should also be high on the list of awards. So as the guardians of football nationally, they must ensure that financial perks be handed out to those footballers (senior male and female) who show prowess above their peers in the country’s premiere football tournament, the National Club Championships.
It may not be too late for the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation to ink in an attractive financial award to a young footballer, male and/or female, who is named the most outstanding of the championships.
The tournament’s committee of the national club championships can follow suit that of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association, which had on offer a two-year full scholarship to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, to the most outstanding young netballer at this year’s aborted Bank of SVG/ FLOW national netball tournament.
Unfortunately, this did not come to fruition as the tournament ended abruptly because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, reports are, that the award is still in place should the tournament be held in 2021.
National associations here, in spite of their limited resources, should lead the way when it comes to awarding successes, as they are the ones to look for guidance as setting the precedence and the bench marks.
It is incongruous at times, for some community competitions have better individual player incentives than in competitions hosted by national associations.
Whilst the community competitions are more or less autonomous, national associations should ensure that they lead the way in every capacity.