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Prospects for 2014-2015 schools’ sporting year


The new school year has already started and, of course, there must be bright and beautiful plans for the various sporting disciplines.

As usual, there is the hype which comes when things are fresh and young, and this year is no different.{{more}} The buzz is around again, as there is the talk of the re-introduction of a primary schools’ football competition, as well as an Under-15/16 cricket competition.

Also, it is expected that the secondary schools basketball tournament will return, after not being staged last school year.

Then there would be the customary senior and Under-16 divisions’ football competition among the secondary schools, along with the staple netball and cricket competitions and the track and field championships.

The primary schools have their netball festival, their Kiddy Cricket programme of activities and the much anticipated track and field championships.

The year 2015 too, offers a lot for track and field, as there are lots of championships in the offing for the young school athletes to attend. The annual Carifta Games in St Kitts, the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Juvenile Championships are just two regional meets that are on the plate.

There is also the annual Windward Islands Secondary Schools Games, to be held in Dominica.

St Vincent and the Grenadines’ contingent is selected from the various schools’ competitions held during the academic year.

Are we going to have these competitions, just for the record’s sake?

This may well be the case repeated for yet another year, as many of the school authorities and the Ministry of Education have missed the boat, as the long August vacation went by the wayside.

For yet another time, many of the schools failed or neglected to use this period to have pre-season training.

Then, as this term sets in, there will be that mad rush to get their respective teams fit, tutored and match ready in a very short time.

In most of the cases, it would be a case of on the job training, whilst some piggyback on the many “summer programmes” which are carried out by individuals and community organisations.

Hence, the regular outcome is that teams then show improvement only when they have played two or three matches; by then the competitions are nearing their end.

We seem, however, to have been locked into this sort of arrangement, as its perennial occurrence has become their version of best practices.

Where then should the blame or responsibility lie?

Should the respective school authorities make it mandatory to have such organized pre-season involvement or should it be left to the commitment of the physical education teachers and games teachers?

Does the school’s management possess that fervour to explore all avenues to seek expertise for its teams in the various disciplines?

This is so, as there is no physical education teacher nor games teacher who is equipped to disseminate the skills in all the disciplines.

Failure to continuously institute a structured approach to the development of the young sports men and women, St Vincent and the Grenadines ends up the victim of some substandard outlays, not because of an absence of talent, but an absence of that will to streamline success.

Fixing the issues confronting a firm sporting base at the schools must commence with internal training and competitions within the various institutions.

Schools have to get back to the form competitions and house competitions in order to engender the tussle for places, as well as seek out the best available talent.

The onus should be on the schools to move to the point of questing for sporting excellence, thus forcing the hands of the decision makers to stand up, think and make the pertinent conditions right to aid greater progress.

If they are to wait on those who pen the statues and pass the directives to effect positive changes, one has a greater chance betting on seeing a blue moon than for that to happen.