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Mixed sporting mood at Carnival time

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The local sporting landscape was given something to jump and wave about earlier this week, when 14-year-old Saffiqua Maloney topped the 13 to 14 female category at the Central America and Caribbean Juvenile Championships, held in Curacao last weekend.{{more}}

It is indeed a good feeling that a Vincentian could have come away tops, ahead of 38 others, in the heptathlon – seven events.

For those who pay attention to sports here, certainly such limelight for St Vincent and the Grenadines is always welcomed, as things seem to be going in the opposite direction, as it relates to regional sporting achievement.

Her success, when put into context, has some weight, given our limited facilities and opportunities to be exposed to a higher level of competition on a consistent basis.

One who is accustomed to placing first, Maloney got into that groove when she was a pupil at the Richland Park Government School.

Maloney’s entry into the Thomas Saunders Secondary School saw her excelling at that school’s meet and at the national inter-secondary schools track and field championships.

Credit must go physical education teacher at that institution, Godfrey Harry, who instilled that go-for-it attitude.

But Maloney has since shifted to Michael Ollivierre, who has the task of bringing her to the next phase of her development.

Undoubtedly, Maloney is the brightest track and field female prospect this country possesses at this time.

However, as we have seen in the past, many like her have faded into nothingness, after an early show of promise.

At this point of her athletics development, Maloney is filled with potential, but at the same time, she is at one of her most vulnerable periods.

Hence, there is that need for all who have a say in her life, to handle her with the utmost care and attention, if she is to realise the fullness of her track and field potential.

It may also be an opportune time for the track and field coaches here, who are forever bickering with one another, to acknowledge that some till the ground, some sow the seeds, others care for the plant, and yet others pick the fruits.

But the sporting world’s joy at Maloney’s top spot in Curacao was quickly deflated when it became known last Wednesday, that long-standing scorer, statistician and administrator Thaddeus Seymour died on Tuesday night after a brief illness.

Seymour served as assistant secretary of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association for several years and prepared the fixtures of the local cricket competitions over a long period.

Seymour was also the statistician of the Windwards Board and a member of the Radcliffe Cricket Club here.

Irrespective of the cause and the circumstances, death stings.

Seymour was a phlegmatic person, and was not very popular in cricket circles here.

In fact, he had few friends and kept to himself for the most part.

But those with whom he chose to share moments of his social life know differently, as he had human qualities which were not publicly exposed.

All of us possess our nuisances, and these should not take away from one’s contributions.

Seymour guarded his work, especially in scoring, with a secrecy that was beyond acceptance, such that no one dared peer over his shoulders whenever he was on duty, either at the local or regional level.

This resulted in the chagrin of local sport journalists, but over time, many came to accept that it was just his modus operandi.

But what was noted in his remarks column were his professionalism and knowledge of his job.

Seymour was the rectifier of faulty scoring in our local cricket competitions, after many had goofed up, in the main, because of lack of knowledge.

Of course, there are many untold stories of the late Seymour and his contribution, but this is symptomatic of the man himself.

No human being is replaceable, but it is the hope that someone will take up the mantle of the astute keeping of statistics of local cricket.

So, in the mixed moods and the festivity of the period we are currently experiencing – Carnival, especially to our sportsmen and women, enjoy, but do so in moderation.

Sports is all year round; Carnival is once a year.

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