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Sporting organisations – their social, moral responsibilities

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Sports has always been a social activity designed to provide participants and spectators alike, an opportunity to assemble for times of physical output of skills and talents, as well as fun and entertainment.{{more}}

Over time though, sports has evolved into a multi-million dollar business, and like everything else, brings its own trappings, variations and vagaries.

Here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we are getting caught up in allowing the trends to seep into sporting events and are slowly losing sight of the main intent and value of sports in its raw state.

Therefore, on one hand, there is the hosting of sporting events, but as custodians, less time is expended in ensuring that the moral values and other social responsibilities are kept intact.

Some associations and community organisations which put on events of a sporting nature, do not engage themselves in proper scheduling, nor take into consideration the time of the day, and who would be affected negatively in the process.

Unfortunately, here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we are not blessed with a multitude of sporting facilities, which are in the main multi-purpose and are lodged in residential areas.

As it is now, the entertainment value has superseded the actual events themselves, and organisations, even national set ups, are being sucked into the notion that sports cannot exist without entertainment, which, when translated, means amplified sound.

So, we have arrived at a point where, in order to draw people to sporting events, there must be attractions, sideshows and the like, to make sure that there is spectatorship.

Thus, sporting events have morphed into block-o-ramas, with the main event being the filler. Such happenings are characterized by types of behaviour which cause more bad than good, augmented by the type of music which is played and the general conduct and utterances of the persons who are the consuls.

The downside of this is that unwanted persons and sometimes activities are the products of such decisions, which often turn off the real sports lovers from attending.

Therefore, sporting organisations must acknowledge their social responsibility and ensure that the hired sound systems and disc jockeys play the type of music which best suits the occasion, instead of the latter dictating, according to their preferences and what genres are the hot numbers at that point in time.

Then there is the issue of timing and event management.

We saw that the staging of the secondary schools’ football and netball finals, both held on the weekend, were completed after the sun had set.

Likewise, the schools’ basketball finals finished well into the night.

Whilst one commends the changes, the social responsibility must be paramount in ensuring the safety and well-being of the nation’s youth, as such arrangements come with them, logistical issues.

It was quite evident that at the conclusion of the aforementioned events, many of the students found difficulty in getting transportation to their homes.

We acknowledge, however, that we do not have a structured system of public transportation.

Similarly, earlier this month, when the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation persisted in having four finals, all one afternoon, everyone saw the folly in the decision, as persons were required to be at the Victoria Park close to midnight, before the winner of the last match was determined.

All will be better served, as to establish a cut-off time for the events, then work backwards in terms of scheduling.

But this type of apathy is bred even among some of our local coaches, as they are mainly concerned with the performances, the glory and the returns of their charges, leaving the other facets of their being to be determined by trial and error, rather than a guided approach.

But, as we seek to buck the trend of seeing sports and callous entertainment as inextricable, ways must be found to sell sports, stripped of the impurities fashioned by the latter.

We may say that these are modern times, and that times change and so do men, but proper guidance from those who know and believe better has to be instituted and high standards established.

Organisations, you are the catalysts for positive change to once more make sports a family affair.

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