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Taking local sports seriously


St. Vincent and the Grenadines can’t compare with Germany when it comes to the provision of facilities for sports. Just looking at the World Cup matches on television sends home the message that sporting activities must be of the highest order.

South Africa would turn up equally impressive conditions for 2010. Vincentians would be hoping that given the exploits of their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts, St. Vincent and the Grenadines would be able to complete the nation’s dream of making it to the World Cup finals.{{more}}

But preparation for such an exercise is not an overnight dream, nor a factor to be left up to chance.

It could never be a matter of riding one’s luck and hoping to accomplish something when the moment arrives.

There must be systematic and deliberate preparation. Some conditions needed for such an eventuality are the prevalence of adequate grounds for the sports personnel to fine-tune their skills. And that has to be happen from early – that is from as early as five years old. Therefore, youngsters must be given the latitude to be in the open, on playing fields of some worth for as long as possible.

But our country seems to be selling our youngsters short. For too often, we are hearing of the closure of sporting fields. There seems to be a lack of coordination somewhere, and those responsible for sports are not taking their duties seriously in ensuring that there are avenues available for the youths to let off steam.

So if the situation as it regards crime continues to escalate, you can’t blame the youths.

There is the argument that there has never been more sporting fields in SVG. And that the absence of a proper sporting policy can be attributed to the lack of initiative by former regimes.

But we have to agree that efforts to cater for the ever-increasing youth population are given priority.

Investment in youths and sports ventures are worth every ounce of energy.

Encouragement must be given to any entity, which takes upon itself the task of ensuring that sport receives the fullest attention possible. However, there seems to be a lackadaisical if not perhaps carefree approach to this sphere. And while the malaise persists, the nation continues to suffer.

For there is no genuine commitment to ensure that well-rounded youngsters are produced.

It can’t be a matter of business as usual in today’s global environment. The sporting agenda must be given a real injection of worth so that benefits will accrue not just to the individuals but the entire nation in the future. This is an era when performance matters, when the value of the preparation for any endeavour pays dividends in the short, medium and long term. We have to get serious. No matter what the cost, there must be pledges to make sure that sporting facilities are given some significance. We are a sporting nation, but the full potential of our talents are yet to be acknowledged and exploited.