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Taking sports more seriously


For far too long, many persons here seem to have been enjoying the comfort zone of just taking part in sports as a ritual.There are just a few who have acknowledged the benefits to be derived personally and collectively from participation and being in competition with others in the various sporting disciplines.{{more}}

One cannot put a precise dollar value on the social, economic, mental, physical and spiritual gains which come with being involved in sports, but they can be infinite.

However, we are satisfied with our current state and are likely to spend eternity in this position, if a conscious and concerted effort is not pursued to clear the pathway in the opposite direction.

Harping and moping about what resources we lack, whilst extolling the prowess and successes of others, just would not cut it.

Our continued idolisation of those stars who beam through the camera lenses on television and other media forms would do little for us if we don’t first take care of what is before us.

At times, one would think that Vincentians are living in Spain or England, based on the almost phenomenal support here for the La Liga and English Premier Division clubs.

Contrast this with the scant recognition given to local sporting units and their members. The frequent reference to these overseas clubs as “we” further deepens the self-acquired loyalty that exists.

But, how many of us here stop and think of the sacrifices and hard work these overseas players put in before they are unveiled to the world?

Instead, we tend to admire the product, yet do not want to go through the process.

But then who are to be blamed for the state of existence? Have we ever profiled sports and its by-products as worthy of marketing?

Are we willing to embrace what we possess, harness it, give the necessary support, believing that one day, we can come close to those we revere and even surpass them?

And, the issues are inherent, from the way sports is administered to the way it is played, which in turn filters down to the very result on the courts, the playing fields or in the rings as the case may be.

Everyone knows what is to be done, we talk, we talk and talk, but things remain the same.

Things come to the fore when a national representative performs poorly at a tournament; then there are the evaluations and the way forward is chartered, yet rarely anything substantial results.

Similarly, national associations often plan their annual programmes, set targets and have course after course; yet there are no visible improvements in the modus operandi or the professionalism of the administrators and the athletes alike.

Additionally, the general feeling among those who are in sport is that their job, in the main, is a voluntary one, hence, one should not expect him/her to put his/her all into what he/she is asked to do.

They often forget the notion that what is worth doing is worth doing well, which leaves no place for lethargy and mediocrity.

It is for these same reasons the authorities react in like manner, as the standards have not been set by those who can be the game changers.

Therefore, our attitude towards sports must change if we are to be competitive in the various strands.

Simply saying that we are part of these regional and international sporting organisations and the associated colour are not enough traction which will result in successes in competitions.

The talk of getting to the next level, should not be idle words, but realism.