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Money cannot buy love


The recent marketing row over the sponsorship of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association’s premier competition, the national club netball tournament, has faded.

The whole melee that ensued was one over market share, power, and the rights of sponsorship. Unfortunately, the Netball Association was caught in the middle of the cross fire, and could not have escaped the verbal darts.{{more}}

Sadly, there was some fall out in the administrative apparatus of the SVGNA’s Executive. Whether one thinks the Association is weaker without the resigned members depends on your outlook.

This is the acid test for Doris Mc Intosh and the remaining members of her Executive, an Executive which is at its bare bones following the resignation of two of three of the more experienced persons in the administration of the sport.

The talk of bringing back Netball to the dizzy heights of yesteryear are words only from the standpoint of ensuring that the Tournament is dressed up with fancy clothes.

This apparent band aid approach will not assist Netball, as the wounds have over the years formed abscesses.

The focus in the recent overtures seems to be on the national club tournament. While the tournament is a necessity, Netball goes beyond competition.

Whether it was a case of infidelity or the need to “move on”, as Mc Intosh pointed out, the decision to go with another sponsor has been sealed and signed. The onus now on the current Executive is to deliver. Can those in position reverse the trend that has become familiar and accepted as the highest we can get?

I, therefore, come to the conclusion that irrespective of how much money is pumped into Netball, if the Executive does not get its act together, the sport will continue to careen downhill.

Netball needs a facial, in fact a complete make-over, which money cannot buy. The sport needs to get back to the foundation of its existence, and that is LOVE. Over the past few years, that LOVE has waxed cold.

We have grown accustomed to having grand openings and mid way in the tournament everything goes by the wayside.

The constant defaulting of matches, open ridicule of officials, postponement of matches for selfish and flimsy reasons and the repeat of matches already played on fixtures, were all that affected the national tournament. In short, it was a case of poor administration.

Ugliest of all has been the all time decline in discipline of players and supporters alike. But to have national players being the cheer leaders in this regard tells of the magnitude of the issues that confront Netball.

And, it is not that the powers that be are not aware. It is that they are afraid to make harsh decisions and discipline the transgressors. By the same token, the repeat offenders of the public should be debarred from entering the compound where the matches are played. And this is easy, as those who choose to disrupt the matches with their oral venom often patronise the Kingstown Netball Centre.

When it shows its ugly head again in this year’s tournament, will they blame the lack of sponsors?

All round reformation is needed for Netball .

And this must start with the administrators of the sport, who need to get with it. Getting themselves equipped with the tenets of capacity building is key. The idea of acquiring a Secretariat for the day to day running of the sport is much welcomed. However, if there are not efficient personnel, then it will just be a storeroom and a meeting room, with no product emerging from it.

As it seems, many are lacking in the critical component of administration.

Equally important to the revival of the sport is getting it back firmly entrenched in the primary schools.

Young girls are hardly drawn to the sport. How can we get them involved first of all, then get them to love Netball, can be the start off point.

But the continuous discourses and expositions by those who love Netball and sports in general have turned out to be sheer rhetoric. But to those crying in the wilderness, do not become despondent, keep making your voices heard and let the pen continue to be mightier than the sword.

In the interim, let me wish the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association a successful 2008 Tournament, which starts this Sunday at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex. Thirty seven teams will adorn the venue with their usual splendiferous attire.

But not properly outfitted is that Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Filed. Like the Mound, I have added another item to my weekly shopping list.

Delves and company of the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, please reveal to the general public the remuneration of Technical Director Stewart John Hall.