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Sporting facilities: No joking matter

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It seems like a greater emphasis on the provision of sporting facilities is needed here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It is only natural that the playing fields are the place of interaction among many of this nation’s youths. This is where they not only socialize, but where many a sporting genius is created.{{more}}

There has been an increase in sporting venues in recent times. The emergence of a number of hard courts is evidence of that. However, whether or not these are adequate is another topic for debate.

In recent months, or perhaps in the last couple years or so, there appears to have been some confusion over the use of sporting facilities here. Even the preparations for the ICC 2007 World Cup have not been going very smoothly.

The grass removed from surfaces at Arnos Vale One and Two, as well Sion Hill have turned up at all too unfamiliar places, and there appears to be some debate as to what ought to have been done with that material.

The simple refurbishment of many facilities already earmarked for expansion seems to be causing no end of worry for the authorities responsible for the provision of the vital facilities. One example is the Cumberland playing field.

One would have thought that the dry season might have been used to the fullest extent to ensure the completion of that exercise. But lo and behold, the Cumberland Playing field project remains at a standstill even with a certain portion of the works completed.

Persons at Vermont are awaiting the completion of their facility. Those at Lowmans Leeward are similarly anxious to see their project advance to a meaningful level.

Park Hill residents will be hoping that their playing field is completed adequately, and Mt. Grenan villagers are keen to have their facility completed.

Residents in the Southern Grenadine district of Union Island are keen on seeing their playing facility improved. A similar feeling exists in Canouan, and Mayreau residents will be hoping that their territory is not overlooked in the provision of such facilities.

But there seems to be an apathy as far as maintenance of these existing or promised structures is concerned.

There is a bitter rivalry brewing for the use of facilities between football and cricket lovers. It might not be long before matters come to a serious clash.

Most of this country’s emerging youths are full of energy as is natural, but with the absence of places for them to let of steam, there is always the alternative outlet provided through the congregation of youngsters on the block. The authorities need to take a serious look at provision of sporting facilities and ensure that the nation’s youths are given every opportunity to harness their skills on the field of sport. If we do not, we run the risk of having to care for an ever-increasing prison population. And by then, the moral fabric of our society would be shattered beyond return. The onus is on us to make sure that the trend towards neglect of playing fields does not continue. And the surest way to maintain a healthy population is to step-up on our provision of sporting facilities. It has to be done immediately.

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