Another cover all
The hosting of the inaugural ECCB/OECS International Netball Series here at the Arnos Vale Netball Complex, over the past week, has again put into perspective the need for St Vincent and the Grenadines to pursue a covered sporting facility.
And, this is not reactive, as this column has in the past, on more than one occasion, pleaded with the authorities to do so.
The seven-day tournament was in some way affected by rain.
Matches were delayed because of the inclement weather and in one instance, abandoned without play.
Additionally, the courts’ surface at the Arnos Vale Netball Complex, especially when it rained, played a psychological part on the players’ performance, as it was noticeable that many factored in injury prevention.
Therefore, the overriding cause for the call for the construction of a covered facility, is the well being of our sportsmen and women.
A look at the St Vincent and the Grenadines team, reveals that most of the players are sporting knee bandages.
It does not require much reasoning that the cause of this is the constant pounding the players endure on the surfaces of the hard courts when they play the sport.
Day in day out, our players are required to pound the asphalt or the concrete to show their wares.
Certainly, this type of constant jarring of the knees and ankles, increases the risks of injuries and conversely, reduces the players’ stay in the sport.
St Vincent and the Grenadines’ plight can also be highlighted by the fact that of the five teams that competed in the tournament, this country stands alone, the country which does not have a covered facility to host netball, volleyball or basketball.
St Lucia, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda have theirs in place, with Dominica’s facility in progress.
As the saying goes, “like goat bite we”.
Why is it that after many years of promises sucessive governments have failed to deliver such a facility?
Many will recall the current administration had given the assurance that an indoor sporting facility was imminent.
Such was that confidence of it happening, that the old Glove factory building was earmarked as the site for its construction.
Also, the Girls’ High School court was another that was touted to be pregnant with potential to be covered.
So too was the Arnos Vale Netball Complex, a facility that has been in existence for over 40 years, which had its share of public discourse, on being covered.
Most recently, talk again surfaced to have the basketball facility at New Montrose covered.
Years after we are still in the same position, and even worse.
But one wonders what are the causes of the delay, when, in a matter of less than a year, gymnastics was presented with a home, simply by refurbishing and retrofitting the Mustique Airways hangar.
Sports and its science have left St Vincent and the Grenadines in the dark, and we continue to grope at possibilities rather than realities.
Of critical note as well, is the ever changing social demands, as with time and expose, persons who play sport and spectators alike, are upping the ante. Hence, they expected the best, inclusive of facilities.
The ball will forever remain in the court of the policy makers and shapers of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to deliver on that protracted promise.
One understands the financial constraints facing us.
So as a compromise, if an indoor sporting facility is not within the reach, at least a covered one will suffice for the time being.