Sports being tested positively
THE ALMOST worldwide shutdown of sporting events has affected many individuals, the corporate community, you name it.
Like a boomerang, the spread of the coronavirus, has in effect put sports and general conduct of life in many countries on a hold, and for some, at a standstill.
Many have not escaped the knock-on effect, as sports has been the life blood for a fair percentage of some countries’ population.
But whilst St Vincent and the Grenadines is not heavily dependent on the direct returns of sports, we too, are feeling the effects of the postponement and cancellation of various sporting events.
The pandemic has hit home to us, exposing the value of sports to Vincentians.
This is against the reality check that we here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, lack a sports culture; hence, sports is predominantly recreational.
Since the threats of the virus became imminent, most of the playing fields and hard courts have become ghost-like, with very little activity, as persons are taking heed, by practising the prescribed “social distancing”.
Beyond that, those spectators and ardent followers are overwhelmed with boredom, as their days are void with the lack of sporting activities.
Too, we have been put at an economic disadvantage with the postponement of the Caribbean Netball Association’s Jean Pierre Under-16 netball tournament, which was set for hosting here this month.
Hotels, ground transportation, restaurants and other commercial entities, would have missed out on getting some much needed foreign exchange.
There is also that economic loss with the postponing of the CONCACAF Nations League Gold Cup qualifying return match against Guadeloupe, which was slated for March 31, here at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.
With all the fall outs and sometimes grim, one should be hopeful and positive in the interim, as we wait out the period of the passage of the virus (sooner rather than later).
One such treatment to be administered, is to extract the good that can emerge from the current health/ economic crisis, thus, we should apply the out of evil should cometh good statement in the situation.
Health wise, our sportsmen and women should come out of this period, persons with better health practices, as the hand hygiene processes should be a thing of the norm, instead of a necessity as what is occurring now.
Coming out of the crisis,we should see the SVG Olympic Committee once again making a pitch to get the prerequisite funding to get the Sports and the Environment Commission resuscitated.
The waiting period is opportune as well, for some sporting organisation to have in-house sanitising, as there is evidence of personnel who are administratively unheathly, and are in need of cleansing.
Too, the lull in sporting activities, both at the community level and nationally, can be fully utilised to do some internal reflections by persons who are in positions of service to the respective disciplines.
The waiting must be active, as when things return to some level of normalcy, it should be like clock work, as already plans would have been mapped out.
Of note too, our sportsmen and women, within the pause of active engagements, should devise ways of being socially in tune.
One though cannot rule out the worst case scenarios, should this health crisis, caused by the spread of COVID-19, prolong.
Therefore, the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation should already be coming up with the best possible solutions, should the 2019/2020 national club championships be aborted.
The possibility is real, as both the premier and first divisions are at advanced stages.
On the other hand, the much promised improve national netball tournament, has no such worries, as should things turn for the worst, (hopefully not), that tournament was just in the first week of action.
Thoughts of alternative actions and corrections are needed in the community competitions which are affected as well, granted that there are variables and permutations, should things go the route which are not desirous.
Critically, our sportsmen and women should show their mettle, by continuing their training where possible, as they await normal programming.
Above all, this period should be an acknowledgment by policy makers of the important role that sports is depositing into the national development structure.
All in all, St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the midst of lose, should stand to gain.