Vincy sports need to follow suit
The world over, we are seeing the merging of some major corporations, or the total disappearance of some.
Whilst some of these entities have formed strategic alliances; others have been forced to do so, as the prevailing economic trends have dictated that such that they do so, in the best interest of all parties concerned.
Aligning this unfolding of forced changes playing out in the business world, sports here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, have to follow suit.
This is the case, as many disadvantageous conditions are working against the survival of many of our sporting units.
One has to readily agree that among the two most played sporting disciplines, namely football and cricket, there are too many units in operation.
Yes, while one would want to boast of the numbers, quality is being sacrificed for quantity.
Admittedly, in both disciplines mentioned above, this is indeed the reality.
Take football for instance, which is the most popular sports here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, there are several leagues strewn across the country, all with basically the same ambition and intent.
However, granted the numbers that actually play the sport, it is much of the same being asked to suffice these competitions with their participation.
This is not withstanding the fact that the various competitions provide that much needed social outlet for the participating players and that empowerment of the communities which host them.
One though has to agree as well, that the prevalence of these competitions, bring with them some saturation issues, as they do not have the sustained following.
Added, the prevailing economic situation of the country, is not a guaranteed support for the survival of the many league competitions.
Other than the economics, there are not enough persons willing to effectively commit themselves to give of their time and expertise to the administration of these competitions.
Hence, it is often left up to a handful to carry the brunt of the duties and responsibilities on their shoulders.
A case in point is the disappearance of the once popular Arnos Vale football league, which has met its demise through a combination of adverse factors.
We have also seen what has occurred with netball, as participation in the national club tournament has been cut by almost half, during the past two decades or so.
Cricket and track and field too have had their fair share of downsizing in participation for reasons suggested previously in this exposition.
These disciplines, as well as others not mentioned, have gone through similar changes warranted by forced happenings.
But getting back to the football, the powers that be should not allow nature to take its course, but through its policy framework, charter the course of nature.
There are some signposts being erected by CONCACAF and FIFA, which are pointing towards the direction in which the keepers of the sport here – the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation – needs to observe and follow.
We have been hearing for sometime of the CONCACAF club licensing requirements, which local football units have to comply with.
Granted the size of the country, the availability of resources, (human, infrastructure and financial), has placed many of football units at a disadvantage, relative to others in the region.
As it stands, based on some of CONCACAF’s demands, local football units in order for their survival, have to downsize.
Very few of the units can adequately pass the grade as set by the confederation.
But should it be left for the units to decide?
Then, the executive of the SVGFF takes the lead to ensure that St Vincent and the Grenadines’ football structure is in line with other regional configurations.
Our football should not be left to evolve and emerge into a come what may phenomenon.
Instead, through decisions and policies, football here can be channelled into a direction best suited for our needs.
It is paramount that this be done, as neither the existing units and the national administrative structure, have the resources for St Vincent and the Grenadines to be a sustained football force, first of all in the region, and ultimately beyond.