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Searching for leaders …

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The return of Dennisford Foster as President of the Ashburton Sports and Culture Organisation (ASCO) for his 23rd consecutive term, is itself a piece of local sporting and leadership history.{{more}}

Undoubtedly, Foster, as founder of the organization, has been able to steady the ship for the past years amidst, at times, some turbulence.

Over time, ASCO has been at the forefront of organizing mainly netball and softball cricket competitions and has been involved in other community efforts, from which many persons have benefitted.

The output of ASCO over the past 22 years and counting has been recognized and appreciated by many.

Foster, as head of the organisation, has led the charge in many of the undertakings by ASCO, even if he has to do the “donkey work” all by himself.

But not to in anyway devalue Foster and his organisation’s contribution to the sporting and cultural landscape of the Asburton community, — which extends to the West St George constituency and St Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole — when one looks below the surface, it begs the question, is it that we are lacking persons to take up the mantle of leadership?

Indeed, Foster is no iron-fisted leader; neither there is much at stake for him to want to hold on for life, as it is merely voluntary; neither is he egoistic.

So, one can therefore advance that Foster, despite his sincerity and willingness to serve, must be asking for help along the way.

He has expressed the need for more persons, especially males, to come forward and assist, which is indicative that he wants to pass on the mantle.

However, his call is seemingly falling on deaf ears.

This paucity of persons willing to serve can lead to complacency and high handedness for the few with the stickability to face up to the challenges of being at the helm of an organisation.

Hence, at both the community and national level, the cry continues, as several community based organizations have ceased to exist, once two or three persons decide to call it a day or if they migrate.

In some instances, some groups go under and die natural deaths, because of failure to provide for succession, as well as lack of capacity building when they were at their peak.

Conversely, in cases where there is some continuity of personnel, in the main it is on a recycling basis.

At the 2010 elections of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association, there were hardly persons who were willing to put their hands up and be counted.

This case manifested itself in similar fashion at the elections of the said association earlier this year.

But whilst such are cases, there are two leaders of national sporting bodies here, who have resorted to keep their respective associations hostage.

One would want to think, it can be nothing less than bad mind and spite that the leadership of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation and that of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Table Tennis Association would hold on to their positions, as both disciplines are at a standstill — more aptly, regressing.

The former’s wish of running the federation via remote control from Mustique has instead held bodybuilding to ransom for her self image, while the latter is rudderless and washed up with dinosaur type administrative competencies.

But are there persons willing and able to rescue both national bodies? Or have they joined in the malaise, which is rocking most of our organizations?

Surely, there must be persons around with that spirit of volunteerism left within them, who can resuscitate the lifeless associations, as well as those which are being slow poisoned with fatigue, bankruptcy of creative thinking and personal agenda.

So, the search is on for persons with the ideas, strong will and the skill to take sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines to another level, excavating us from the current state.

The task is not beyond us, as we can make it if we try.

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