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Hope springs eternal


AT THE START of every New Year, there is always that time for reflection, that time for some introspection, and time set aside for self-evaluation.

The pitfalls of the last 12 months have been permanently lodged in history, but they construct useful narrative that are actually guides to avoid repetition.

The reality is that there is always cause for optimism, in spite of what had transpired.

This is true in all spheres of life, inclusive of the sporting landscape of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Again, 2018 was not a bumper year, in terms of sports performances that blew the roof off and made many headlines.

However, the dribbles and drabs of success must be recorded as best within the period under review.

The capture of two gold medals by this country at the Junior Carifta Games held in the Bahamas, were among the efforts, which would have made the national highlight reel.

Handal Roban’s winning run in the male Under-17 800 m, as well as the quartet of Tamara Woodley, Zita Vincent, Annecia Richards and Shaffiqua Maloney — with their upgraded gold medal in the female Under-20 4 x 400m relay — brought national joy over the last Easter weekend.

Right on cue over that same period, swimmer Alex Joachim captured this country’s first gold medal at the Carifta Swim Championships.

Joachim won gold in the male Under-17 200 m breaststroke at the championships, which were staged in Jamaica.

Joachim also copped a silver medal in the 100 m breaststroke and bronze in the 200 m butterfly.

Overall, these returns at the Carifta Games, topped the year’s national sporting accomplishments.

Likewise, top female distance runner Linda Mc Dowall’s triumph in the Caricom 10k in Jamaica and her third hold on the NACAC Chatoyer 10k, held here were the national stand outs for Athletics.

Also bringing some smiles to Vincentians were the efforts of our volleyballers.

SVG’s duo of Micah Glasgow and Enrico Louraine won the male division of the ECVA Beach Volleyball qualifiers held in Antigua, thus gaining a place at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, which were staged in Argentina.

Teamwise, the SVG male outfit at the Windward Islands Schools’ Games in St Lucia, ended ahead of their counterparts. Additionally, St Vincent and the Grenadines senior male volleyball team copped the ECVA title, which qualified them for the NORCECA intercontinental championships in Cuba, this year.

Joining the winning bunch was the St Vincent and the Grenadines Under-14 male football team that was triumphant in the Caribbean Football Union’s Challenge Series in St Kitts.

Meanwhile, top male cyclist Zefal Bailey placed first in the Under-23 division of the Caribbean Cycling Championships held in the Dominican Republic.

His success in the Dominican Republic capped off a relatively good year for him, as he dominated the local scene, and had two podium finishes in outings in Antigua and Barbuda.

Of note too, young cricketer Obed Mc Coy making his One Day International debut for the West Indies team, was another upward move for him, as well as the SVG’s cricket stock.

Mc Coy, playing for the West Indies B in the Global 20/20 in Canada, was his team’s top -wicket taker as he claimed 11 wickets.

His nine wickets from seven matches, in the Caribbean Premier League, made him the joint – leading wicket taker for the St Lucia Stars.

Worthy mention must be made of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association, which endeavoured to have SVG returned on the International Netball Federation (INF) rankings.

As it turned out, this country was able to compete in the minimum eight matches, accumulated from tri-nation series in Grenada, which involved St Lucia and the host, as well as participation in the AFNA (Americas Federation of Netball Associations) tournament in Barbados.

Too, the improved placing of second, of the SVG Under-15 team at the Windward Islands tournament, was another brief moment for celebration.

Also receiving an honourable recognition was Jumonne Exeter who reached the final of the ripple jump at the Commonwealth Games, staged on the Gold Coast in Australia and male long distance athlete – Junior Ashton, who retained the NACAC Chatoyer 10k and was third in the Caricom 10k.

The foregoing review, when put into perspective, indicates that there is no shortage of sporting talents here in SVG.

Encouraging they may be, however, there seems to be that extra drive, that tenacity to move into a higher gear in our performances Therefore, Hope is our only lifeline.