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More than just competitions

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The staging of competitions designed for the various firms should not be regarded simply as an activity for employees to get involved in sports.{{more}}

The current inaugural Digicel / Break away Firms Football Competition and the Industrial Netball Competition are doing more than just providing the opportunity for the participants to get a sweat. From the evidence of both competition thus far, there is unbridled enthusiasm among many of the participants; certainly, an enhancement to their daily lives.

That apart, the firms football competition is providing those living within the environs of Kingstown with some social activity on afternoons, and from all evidence, spectators are lapping it up.

Both the Netball and Football competitions have maintained the rule that a male, in the case of Netball, and a female in the case of Football, must be on the court or the field as part of each team at all times. This aids in creating and sustaining the fun aspect of the activity, as these persons are sometimes the weak links on the teams and have to receive guidance as the matches proceed.

Caution, however, should be taken at all times to maintain the overall objective of these competitions, which is to have fun.

Despite this, some overzealous players sometimes do not understand the level of competence of their teammates, and often chide them for their shortcomings.

When persons plan these competitions, they do so with the novices in mind, and for those who have not played the sport for a long time.

The Sean Stanley Table Tennis Academy has instituted in its Firms and Industrial Table Tennis competitions a rule which restricts the participation of national players to emphasise the importance of participation and fun, rather than competence.

Maybe down the road, this may have to be instituted in the Football and Netball competitions to keep the spirit of such competitions intact.

Organisers should endeavour over time to keep adding certain innovations so as to blunt that inevitable competitive spirit which creeps in, as well as ensure that the competitions do not become stale.

The Rotary St. Vincent South softball competition is a case in point, as organizers need to tweak the format to re-energize the well meant social activity through sports.

It was the same over emphasis on competition, which was in part the reason for the gradual demise of Seymour Firms Cricket Competition many years ago. The competition had been growing in popularity and was keeping its focus, before lack of planning and constant tweaking allowed “competition” to overtake “fun”.

With the present competitions still holding great interest, guarding against complacency should be a ready thought. It may also be a good thought for other sporting disciplines to introduce such competitions, perhaps in alternate years, so as not to water down interest.

For instance, everyone may not be able to play the more strenuous and physically demanding sports such as Netball and Football, therefore table games and mind games such as Dominoes, Pedros, Chess or even Scrabble could be worthwhile competitions for those with such interests.

But we should not stop there, when the competitions are over and the winners declared.

Out of these competitions should come a national industrial Netball team as well as a combined St. Vincent and the Grenadines firms Football outfit.

Likewise, why can’t a national firms team comprising of different sporting disciplines be selected to host regional units of a similar composition, or our select team travel overseas to engage their regional counterparts?

The Masters Cricket Competition, which is a window for those over the age of 40 years, and a stage to relive the past, can do the same, as we can have a St. Vincent and the Grenadines Masters Cricket team. The selection of such a team should serve as an added recognition of the mature cricketers’ efforts.

What organizers and planners must always be reminded, is that change is constant.

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