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Back it up, Ces


The recent pronouncement by this country’s Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Hon. Cecil “Ces” McKie at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s prize-giving ceremony that “sports is the answer” to many of the social issues, is timely and instructive.{{more}}

Not that McKie had made a novel statement of philosophical heft but, being in the dynamic ministry in which he has been placed, his statement holds enormous accountability.

Whether or not McKie was simply speaking to get applause from the audience, or was speaking rhetoric suited for the occasion is irrelevant at this time, as it is a statement of fact.

So, McKie, you have said it. Now, back up your mouth with the fervour, commitment and fortitude of the mind, which could assist in cushioning some of the costs incurred from some of the social erosion that we are experiencing.

Here, you have in your hands the tools of the trade to make things happen.

We are cognizant that neither, you, your ministry, nor St Vincent and the Grenadines have a bottomless receptacle of money to fund the national sporting programme. But with the correct political will on your part, mountains can be moved.

To begin, the mere configuration of your ministry shows sports at the centrality of your responsibilities. Therefore, it should take its rightful role.

With sports as the focal point in this discourse, you have to get the things right in that ministry first up.

Getting the right personnel with the technical capabilities to move the several programmes forward is of critical importance.

Also, the idea being bandied about that your ministry wants to take over school sports has to be a case of biting off more than you can chew, as your offices simply do not have the capacity.

Instead, you should be the catalyst to promote a more harmonious relationship with the other ministries and national associations to make school sports meaningful in the life of the students.

Sports and tourism are perfect twins towards national progress and economic development.

This is not to construe sports and tourism as a kiss-hand undertaking. But you are in a position to influence policies, which are tailor-made to promote such a concept.

So, Mr McKie, here you can use your good offices to ensure investigations into the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, regarding the true status of its Goal Project at the Brighton Playing Field.

This is of interest to everyone, as central government facilitated the lease of the land on which the structure is being built.

This well-intended project should create a pathway for the hosting of teams from overseas for football activities and can also serve as a hostel for visiting teams.

Indeed, as you are aware, the high cost of travel, coupled with accommodation, is warding off such visits. A relief in the area of hospitality will have a pull factor for prospective visitors to these shores for recreational and sporting purposes.

In the area of culture, your ministry is conveniently poised to incorporate all facets of your duties, obviously with sports being the main attraction.

But in all your prospective doing, in putting real flesh and meaning to your pronouncement, McKie, it is imperative for you to have open dialogue with most sporting associations, as very few are without sin and are being crippled by internal wrangling.

A purging, a cleansing of the toxins, which are spreading intravenously through these associations, warrants an immediate dose of antibiotics, before they become totally lifeless.

This is certainly an instructive process that must we must undergo if we have to go forward.

This is notwithstanding that other sectors of our society can and do play a part in soothing the social abrasions. But sports is a vital conduit, as it touches many lives in one shot.

Finally, let not mouthing be empty sayings; hence, in all your planning, let your statement: “Sports is the answer” be your mantra, while you remain in that portfolio.