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Positive vibes


Not often do young sportsmen and women get the admiration of Vincentians, but the national Under-20 male Football Team did so over the last few days.

Many times the nation’s young people are bundled together and judged for the transgressions of the ones who choose deviance as their preferred course of daily travel.{{more}}

The young footballers helped in some way to get the attention away from their deviance and attitudes, and for five days got people to focus on their sporting talents, namely Football.

Yes, at least, they for that period were seen as worthy citizens and were held up high.

They may not be world beaters, neither are they saints that came into existence last week with the sound of a whistle, as they, too, have their issues of distractions, are headstrong and at times ill disciplined.

To beat powerhouse Haiti, even at the Under-20 level, was an achievement that several national representative teams, including the famed 1979 senior squad, failed to do.

As it were, it was not the size of the country, but the quality of teamwork that counted.

But such wins come only few and far between, as national teams over time come up with the top results.

The young footballers destroyed the form and threw the record books out of the window and upset the apple cart as no one expected them to have positioned themselves to at least get thus far.

And, they did so with limited financial and other resources.

The happenings of the past week only emphasized what is the potential which resides in the young, whom many fear for one reason or another.

The onus is on the Football authorities to ride on this crest of popularity and seek to advance the game from just a recreational activity to an entity aligned to business operations.

The Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation must be commended for their media blitz leading up to the competition. The historic hosting of the Final saw Vincentians turning out in their large numbers. As it seems, everyone knew that there was football at Victoria Park.

Fortunately, the competition was timely, as it came at a point when there were no struggles for attention from our people, as their few or no similar social activities.

Our Under-20 footballers have provided a look in to the authorities, who know, of course, what sports can do to a nation. Shouldn’t this really jolt the powers to really and truly conjure up that political will to make sports top priority as a means of advancing our young people and populace in general?

But with the highs came the lows.

As expected, this country was given some bad assessments for its lack of facilities, and other deficiencies, and understandably so.

We lack the top class lighted venue for such a competition, but we tried and got a passing grade with our endless limitations.

The Executive of the SVGFF and the National Lotteries Authority combined in the improvisation of temporary dressing room facilities to reach the minimum requirements. Yes, this move was woefully inadequate, but at least both parties were innovative.

But what the criticisms should do, the constructive ones that is, is prick our administrators to always set high standards all round. Even though all is well that ended well, that is not the licence to tap ourselves on the shoulder for a job well done, as better could have been done.

And, I am certain there will be the usual pronouncements of keeping this current crop of players together. But how often we have heard it in the past, as we often blow hot and cold on such matters. Turn the tables and the tide in this one.

To the young footballers, you have been revered for a short time, but our people’s tolerance and acceptance levels do not go far, and will in a twinkling of an eye ridicule you with the most derogative comments. So watch your steps and your back. And, some of it was experienced already during the Jamaica encounter, when you did not come up with the expected goods.

Your acquired limelight is relative to this country and is restricted to this time, hence, you have to play your part in ensuring that you always strive for personal development and enhancement.

What continues to be a negative vibe is the existence of that “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.