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Getting it Right


The intervention of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association to host this year’s Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States championship, saved a possible cancellation of the much-anticipated sub-regional exercise.

The local body stepped in after the original host Dominica was unable to do so. {{more}}

The efforts of the National Sports Council to have the venue up to an acceptable standard get high commendation, granted that facility was recently commissioned.

The large crowd that turned out last Sunday at the Keartons Hard Court exceeded the expectations of everyone, giving credence to the choice of venue, made necessary because of the unavailability of the established Arnos Vale Complex.

But it was quite evident at last Sunday’s opening that everything was not in place.

The perennial problem of late start did not escape the programme. It seems that we revel in having such events start late. This has become the norm rather than the exception.

To have government ministers, as well as other invited guests and sponsors facing the beaming rays of a Sunday afternoon sun makes a mockery of proper planning by the host association.

Visiting officials were at times at sea trying to find someone from the organising committee, as these persons were not identifiable.

So too were the scorers, whose casual attire devalued the occasion to a practice session.

Then, there was uncertainty as to the edition of the championship. The 2006 event was touted as the 15th edition, but this was corrected by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank representative as the 16th.

The “no bottle policy” which was enforced partially insured patrons’ safety, but the absence of security personnel stretched the organisers’ reliance on good behaviour.

Added to this was the absence of a stretcher or even the Red Cross services. To learn that the doctor present, who attended to an injured player, was there in another capacity, further exposed organizational weakness.

Some of these faux pas are inexcusable, granted that this exercise have been with us for umpteen of years.

These shortcomings hold no place since they knew since May that the championship was coming to these shores.

Invariably host associations seek assistance outside its fraternity. The clique mentality as exhibited by several local sporting organizations when hosting regional events does little for the entire country.

When this country hosts regional or international competitions, it is not the few individuals that are involved with the direct planning of the event that come under fire, but St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

We are slipping into a mode of accepting mediocrity as the highest level of endeavour.

With Cricket World Cup warm up matches set for March next year, such sub regional activities should be used to test many of our systems as we prepare for the biggest evaluation.

Getting the small things right must be the new gospel, as purported by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.