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Let us start being selective


It is time for stock taking, when it comes to regional participation by Vincentian teams mainly at the sub regional level.

For many years, this country has been entering teams in several sub- regional competitions.{{more}}

Although the returns have been reasonably good, our national associations need to pay more attention to which competitions we take part in.

Year after year, we only return average performances; we are yet to have a major break through in getting to the next level.

Whilst the sub regional competitions, that is, the OECS exercises, have served a good purpose, the same teams and island representative outfits always seem to take the lead in the various sporting disciplines.

When one looks at the squash under-23 and champions club competitions, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been one of the stand out performers for many years.

But have we been able to translate and transfer this dominance to the wider regional scale?

We should, therefore, perhaps skip some of these competitions and engage others outside the sub-region, to get a good assessment of where we stand.

There is too much similarity and familiarity within the sub region, which at times gives us a false impression of our abilities, which is exposed when we venture out against stiffer and better organized units.

When we are repeatedly walloped in other competitions, blame is put on inexperience and other similar factors.

The recent Caribbean Football Union’s Club Championships, in which two of our local clubs, Avenues and System 3, participated was a good test for them against teams from outside the Windward and Leeward Islands. I am certain the two outfits are richer for the experience and reality of where their Football is, in comparison with the likes of Joe Public, Bayamor, Leo Victor, and others.

It is this sort of outing that the other sports teams need to lift their game, instead of continually rubbing shoulders against those who are on par, or even below their level.

The same can be said of Cricket.

How often do Vincentian teams compete against teams from outside the Windward Islands?

It must be a rare happening if this is so.

This could be one of the reasons why there has been such a dearth, in recent times, in producing cricketers of note who catch the eyes of regional selectors.

Since Deighton Butler got a short stint on the senior West Indies team for a few One Day Internationals some five years ago, no other Vincentian seems likely to make that break through.

And, this comes at a time when West Indies Cricket is at its lowest, yet St. Vincent and the Grenadines still cannot be counted among them.

Again, we create star lights in our domestic competitions, but they blow their fuses with their very first spark.

A few years ago, efforts were made to get our local under-19 players into the annual Sir Garfield Sobers Cricket Competition, but this no longer happens.

Undoubtedly, this was a good training ground for young cricketers, as they were exposed to competition from within and outside the region. Additionally, it gave the young men an insight into what sort of preparations are needed for competitions of such magnitude.

Yes, the cost of regional air travel may be a prohibitive factor, but efforts must be made to get such regional and extra regional engagements going.

But charity must first begin at home, and when one looks at many of the local sporting competitions, it is practically the same format and time each year.

I am not being selective, though, in calling for the complete removal of the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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