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A national identity will do

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What characteristics set St Vincent and the Grenadines apart from other territories in the wonderful world of sports? Of course – none.{{more}}

We do not possess things which are distinctively ours, or traits which identify the uniqueness of Vincentians in sports. And, that goes across the board, as we lack that special touch in many areas of our endeavours.

Therefore, this column is calling for a sporting identity that would distinguish and trademark St Vincent and the Grenadines. When a national team travels or is on show here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the sight is sometimes not pleasant.

This is not to say that they are not often well attired or at times uniformed, but there is no set identity in terms of team colours and the like, in the code of dress that is prescribed.

In some cases, even though there are attempts at uniformity, there are varying shades of the primary colours, thus defeating the entire effort of oneness of dress.

In fact, it is usually left to the individual representative teams to ensure that some uniformity is adhered to.

Some teams, however, take the short cut route and could not care less and the “dress how you like” phenomenon is firmly applied.

But this should not be so, as a national protocol for all representative teams leaving these shores, as well as those competing on home soil, should be enforced.

Apart from the standard colours, there should be a national uniform – formal, as well as casual wear.

Additionally, other paraphernalia should adorn the team gear, inclusive of bags, track suits etc, all identifying the wearer/bearer as being a member of team SVG.

Also, apart from the actual national colours, there should be that unmistakeable inscription “St Vincent and the Grenadines” on all visible garments, wherever permissible.

Such undertaking in uniformity not only adds that touch of professionalism, but instils unity and the concept of team among the players.

Another plus for uniformity is that it adds that the psychological advantage, as there is the comfort of feeling and looking good even before the competition begins.

Vincentian outfits have been known to get that culture shock whenever they see their opponents clad and better uniformed than they are. Thus, instead of focussing on the task at hand, their minds are consumed with their deficiencies, often standing in admiration.

National uniforms are also a branding tool which creates that outlet for merchandising and, coupled with on the field successes, can offer that edge for a commercial advantage.

But not only must St Vincent and the Grenadines pay attention to its presentation and deportment when teams represent, but each sporting discipline must move towards getting that Vincy brand in train.

Whilst the dynamics of sports and the tactical aspects are forever changing, there must be some format, some handbook on how it should be done “Vincy style”.

Some years ago, the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation had promised to put in place a manual to be followed by all national teams; however, this was never done.

The SVGFF during the lead up to the 2006 world cup campaign, developed the sobriquet “Vincy Heat,” which since has been attached to the senior national men’s team.

It would be no harm for other national sporting disciplines to follow suit, which would augur well for the promotion and marketability.

But the overarching need though, of all the aforementioned possibilities is the relook, reshaping and meaning to a National Sports Policy for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

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