Making that social investment
St Vincent and the Grenadines, like others countries of the world, is under a social watch, as deviance of various proportion, has become part of the national agenda.
Hence, there are always conversations and other verbal intents, towards addressing and redressing what are unfolding.
These deviations from the norms of Vincentian tranquility, have been exponential.
However, the reactions have not been equally commensurate with the dynamics of our current situation.
Most of the proponents of change, have advocated a one size fits all approach, which is highly impractical.
Recreation and sporting activities are popular outlets proffered to arrest some of the social decadence among our youth population.
If then, these are plausible conduits, then there must be some improvements in the way sports is configured and executed, in several areas.
One has, first and foremost, to accept that the transformation of the social landscape of St Vincent and the Grenadines demands greater care exhibited by leaders of sporting organisations for the persons who are part of their respective units.
No longer can sports administrators simply know the basic information of their representative players. Their role has and will continue to take on pastoral significance.
Many of the sporting bodies (national associations included), which are functional here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, do not have as part of their programmes, mentorship and psychological training for their charges.
It therefore has become necessary for sporting units to allocate specific sessions to the psychological help and other support systems to complement the sporting talents of those who are representatives of these teams/units/ clubs.
Beyond that too, there should be an attempt towards empowering our youths, whose sporting talents are only one aspect of their holistic development.
Even further, these players’ welfare has to be factored in the grander scheme of things.
Whilst, it is all well and good for sports administrators, managers and coaches to preach to players, about the benefits of sports and recreation, and there are other unmet needs.
After a player has exerted all his/her energies on the hard court/playing field, or in the hall of a school or community centre, it is disheartening to go home to an empty food cupboard or pantry.
This type of reality hits home, hence the affected players will then relegate sports and recreation to the point of lesser significance.
Instead of using sports as a place of solace and help; sports becomes a poisoned ingredient.
It is not to say that enabling persons should be top priority, but understanding and having a knowledge of players’ plight, will go a step further in getting the best out of them whenever they are called to represent their units.
But this type of social care is not only for humanitarian purposes, but is fast becoming a prerequisite as sports move up the ladder of efficiency and professionalism.
In advancing the roles of sporting organsations, they have to reset their objectives and purposes of existence.
Our local sporting organisations have to change with the times in which we live, as they respond to the inevitable social dynamics.
So, whilst they play a part in the overall development of their players and members, it must be a two-way process.
This is against the backdrop that some sporting organisations would in ways, whilst not intentional, act adversely with the players’ development.
Often times, players are there only to give of their sporting talent and are not often involved in the decision–making processes.
Conversely, the efforts of the sports administrators are counter-productive, as some of the other ideals of sports are lost, because persons in position fail to engage players in planning and letting them have a voice in the organisation.
Changing what currently exists will take some doing, as the human and financial resources are limited.
To cater for this though, sporting organisations have to, as a matter of necessity, share their available human resources and best practices among one another.
And, the times dictate that with the scarcity of these important resources, that some of the sporting units here merge, in order to maximise their reach and purpose to the youth population, which in the main, is their target group.