Breaking out from the traditional sporting barriers
ST VINCENT AND THE Grenadines (SVG) is blessed with having several sporting disciplines being pursued by nationals.
These disciplines can be classified in accordance to their popularity and mass appeal.
It is common knowledge that major sports here are football, cricket, track and field, softball cricket and netball.
The likes of basketball, table tennis, squash, tennis, volleyball, rugby and swimming, can all be deemed, at this juncture, the minor disciplines.
And, still further down the order of the sporting ladder here are: karate, boxing, taekwondo, gymnastics, sailing, rowing, draughts, while bodybuilding, chess, weightlifting and others have become almost oblivious.
These disciplines in the main require different expertise, skill set, infrastructure, among others.
But even with the passage of time, we tend to be locked in a vice of the traditional sporting events and venturing into new events, has been a slow trickle.
It may not hurt us to begin to expand our scope, broaden our frontiers and engage in other sporting disciplines.
This is in light of those disciplines which do not require much infrastructure and those where there are ready structures and landscape in place. So it cannot be too much
of an ask for persons who have the knowledge and will, to revisit the area of triathlon.
Years ago, SVG was moving in that direction with the hosting of an annual triathlon, which had attracted some overseas participation.
However, its stay was short-lived and the activity got drowned out and is no more.
The revival of a triathlon can be an easy exploration, since there is an abundance of the two major needs – seas and roads.
Too, it may be worth the while, to again revive the game of chess, which in itself does not carry an age limit, thereby encouraging mass participation.
This though, can be an avenue for the youths, as already in place is the Carifta Chess Championships, in which some Caribbean countries are regular contenders.
Moving away from what we have some knowledge and as the net is spread, another sport in which SVG should look at for possible inclusion, is that of lawn bowls.
There are several playing fields available to us, hence getting involved in lawn bowls, there is place for that venture.
Too, having background with the playing of marbles and that of bocce, it should not be any painstaking affair for prospective players to become involved.
Also among those worth exploration is that of shooting. Whilst there is some differences in techniques, there are many persons here who are members of the shooting range, located in the vicinity of the Arnos Vale sporting complex and are trained to shoot.
Once introduced, some persons would obviously gravitate to shooting as a sport, so SVG therefore can take a look at this sport.
At the recent XXI Commonwealth Games held in Australia, it was evident that some of the competitors in the shooting events were those who had some law enforcement training, thus the transition was made easier.
Lastly, SVG should look seriously in the area of para–sports.
This is an area that several persons here, whether through birth defects or accidents, have some form of physical disability.
Again, going back to the Commonwealth Games earlier this month and looking at those who competed in the para-sports, there are many athletes in various fields, who are good candidates for national representation.
Additionally, para-sport helps to lessen stigma on persons with physical deficiencies, by giving them greater acceptance as valuable members of society and boosting their self-esteem.
As a sporting people, we need to venture out into the non-traditional areas, as we can only know of our prospects if we try.
But as this medium seeks to throw out the challenges and open up discussion on the various possibilities for an expansion in the sporting disciplines, there lies the big question, as to who would take the lead and get the ball rolling.