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Stimulus package for sports too


Everything these days is about stimulus; it is about belt tightening, and about bail outs, as the world grapples with a worsening financial crisis.

Right here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we, too, need a stimulus, some belt tightening and a certain bail out.{{more}} Like with Economics, sports here is in dire straits and such stimuli must come now; but a package filled with ideas and commitment.

This type of bail out is of a different kind, as there has been a serious melt down in standards of performance and administration.

We continue to plummet to almost an all time low in the way we do business with sports and with the business of sports. This general malaise has caused a fall out among those who are in positions of administration and those who seek to bring the glory to the sport in which they participate. And, I say participate, as in recent times, we have been merely participating in sports and not competing.

Instead, we have been served with diatribe on a platter, carefully wrapped in rhetoric by those self acclaimed gurus of administration.

Unfortunately, some of the same sporting disciplines which are deficient are the same ones whose leadership believe they have a monopoly of ideas and are endowed with infinite wisdom.

Many, instead of using the asset of their knowledge of the sports in which they have stewardship, have become basically liabilities.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Table Tennis Association, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association, and the SVG Basketball Federation, just to name a few, seem to be in recession, as they have had their grandiose plans and activities seized by inactivity and may be awaiting foreclosure.

But the same way everyone is looking at the financial situation and seeking ways to get out of the mire, the same must be for sports.

The challenge is for all and sundry to put their hands and heart together and make good out of a seemingly inextricable condition.

Sponsorship of individuals, teams, and competitions is hard to come by, with every passing day, and the recent rumblings of the CLICO scenario and the Stanford downfall must indeed come as a serious blow to the dependence of national associations on the ready hand outs.

Participation in regional and international tournaments will see a certain decrease, and from here on must be carefully calculated and the scale of preference readily drawn up.

Many will have to cutback on their plans for this year, which could see a further down turn in participation and ultimately performance.

How much will these and others fallouts impact on us, cannot be measured just as yet, but for certain many will be affected one way or the other.

But out of evil should cometh good, as national associations, and their affiliates will now have to engage their brains and other resources to stay afloat.

Here, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association will have to make do without the benevolence from Mr. Stanford and the assurance that monies will be deposited in its account monthly.

Instead, more creative means will have to be sought by the members of the Cricket body to keep its programmes going, hence the cutting out of waste and prudent management of its funds will be top priority.

Not faced with such predicament, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation receives US$250 000 per annum from FIFA, but while Football’s world governing body is yet to make known that it is in any financial stress, the SVGFF cannot wait for this to happen, but have contingency measures to mitigate which seems the inevitable.

It is this type of stimulus which should make many see the way out and hopefully more efficient and accountable in their tenure.

But as everyone awaits the next news of despair, Sports must also be seen as part of the solution of the financial quagmire that is causing many to pull out their hair.

This column continues to call on those responsible for keeping the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field in tact, to have it removed as it is merely an obstruction to progress.