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Positive move

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The decision of the Road Race and Cross Country Commission of Team Athletics SVG to strive for a sub-regional and international component to the Round D Town Road Relay on October 7 is indeed a move in the right direction.{{more}}

Last year, when the OECS addition was made, only Grenada responded.

Hopefully, others will do this time around, as Team Athletics would have indeed done its own promotion.

With the same intent, some years ago, the same local track and field body established the Chatoyer 10K from Pembroke to Fort Charlotte, and it was dubbed an Endurance Race because of the terrain of the course which was mainly uphill, especially the hill climb to the finish at the fort.

This race was shelved after two editions.

When one looks across the region, there is the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon in January, the Run Barbados Series in December, the Sandy Lane Horse Race in Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda has its annual Sailing Week, Tobago has its Boat Races, just to name a few.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the few countries in the region that is without a sporting event which can be deemed distinctively Vincentian.

Obviously, in its embryonic stage, it may not get the desired impact as it should at this juncture, but it must be a work in progress, as efforts should be made on all fronts to have it a fixture on our sporting calendar.

Therefore, if this year there is little response, no one should feel badly, and throw their hands into the air and think they have failed, but should endeavour to meet the intent.

With this stickability in effect, in time, the event can be brochured as a sports tourism venture, which can lift our profile, not only in sports, but also as a destination for a special event.

Likewise, the North Leeward race, which is also part of the road racing season, has the potential for weaving its way into the same package, once it is marketed effectively.

Normally set for November, which is the set off time for the tourist season and with that sector forever evolving, every opportunity for tweaking must be exploited and encouraged.

On that side of the island, there are some entry points for yachts and one never knows, some of the yachters can become interested in the event and their participation can be self-advertising and helping to market the race in other parts of the world.

The route of the North Leeward race can rival others around the world with its terrain and aesthetics.

The route provides a perfect backdrop in contrasts, with the seaside on the left and the mountainsides with the lush vegetation on the right. Additionally, the course has flats, it goes downhill, and it has slight inclines and hills.

It would not be a bad idea if this North Leeward race could finish at the Dark View Falls — picnic style — and more so promoting the event as a true fun attraction for those who are non-competitors.

Similarly, the North Leeward race should be the culminating event on the short road racing calendar.

Team Athletics SVG and the other agencies have to forge linkages to ensure that such sporting events are tuned, timed, so that St Vincent and the Grenadines on a whole can reap whatever economic spin offs can be derived.

One is not saying that a windfall will be had like manna, but getting into the thick of things, like others have done, is noteworthy publicity.

The often justifiable criticism, for not promoting such ventures as a national outlook, as the organisers are solely left with the marketing task, should now not be the case with the OECS Invitational Road Relay.

Likewise, Team Athletics SVG should not hog the show and should always be receptive to ideas from persons and entities outside its administration.

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