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Stop the pussyfooting

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The hue and cry of many sporting associations, not only here in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), but also across the region, and one may venture, the entire world, is that of facilities, or better still, the lack thereof.{{more}}

Ironically, we in SVG can get a sport court for volleyball from the North America, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Federation (NORCECA), but the bureauatic devices have been fully installed.

We are hamstrung by a lack of finance in these parts, hence, when help is offered, once the source is legitimate and there are no hidden agendas by the donor, then why not go ahead and gleefully accept it.

What has been the stumbling block is the local volleyball authorities’ inability to get a commitment from central government agencies for a piece of land to build the court.

Additionally, NORCECA requires a commitment that the Volleyball Association will have exclusivity to the facility.

This is quite understandable, as anyone who pumps in US$30,000 would want to have their end of the bargain.

This stalling of the process comes although we have several hard courts strewn across SVG that are under-utilised.

The sport’s survival hinges on the current relationship the association has with the principal of the Girls’ High School, who, through her authority, facilitates the Association’s use of the school’s hard court.

Through the use of this facility, SVG’s male and female teams have advanced to the second round of the FIVB world championships and the finals of the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association competition.

Additionally, the Under- 21 male team heads off to Colorado later this month for the NORCECA Continental finals, after taking first place last year in their ECVA group.

Whilst we are pussy-footing, almost all ECVA territories have received their sport courts.

More so, Grenada has had an indoor facility mainly for volleyball, mainly at the expense of NORCECA.

But here we are passing up an opportunity to provide our populace with more varieties to express their talents, while adding to the social landscape.

First up, volleyball is a non-contact sport and in today’s world, where we have shorter tempers, and people are less inclined to be civil to each other, we need to manage the instances where people have come into contact with each other physically, because, if not policed properly, they can develop into violent situations.

So, volleyball, in that regard, as a non-contact sport, where players are physically separated by a net, is an excellent source for interaction socially, without any fear of escalation into physical confrontation.

Obviously, when you look around the Caribbean, when you look around the world, when you look around in our particular nation, at the little space we possess, we realize that our people are getting larger — there is less activity, there is less physical activity.

Therefore, with a little imagination and utilisation of brain cells, our government and it attendant agencies have to be mindful of the fact that increased obesity levels result in a drain on the social purse, as people have to be looked after.

Increased obesity leads to increased hypertension, increased diabetes, cardiac problems, etc and so the health of the nation as a whole is wrapped up in how we approach recreation.

If you look at the financial requirements to play volleyball, you’re dealing with a net and a ball, it doesn’t get much simpler than that and you can play volleyball in almost any setting, on sand, on grass, and you can play it on a hard court.

And so, from a social or community-based perspective, volleyball meets all of the requirements for healthy living, for recreation, for engendering civic pride and community health.

Therefore, everything is on a platter ready to serve, just as the sport and its simplicity.

So the basic elements are there. Volleyball can assist in shaping the characters of our young men and women.

The onus is now on the executive of the SVG Volleyball Association to continue to gnaw away at those who make policy decisions to see them in the eyeball.

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