A test of faith
No one expected it, no one was prepared for it, but the reality is that the coronavirus (covid-19) is with us. Importantly, like everything else, that too shall pass.
But as the world seeks out every possible way to fight off this novel pandemic; when it is all over, things won’t be the same, neither would it be business as usual.
The world of sports, like everything else, has been hit hard, as a halt has been put on competitions, and uncertainty looms large.
Just like the mystery of the virus; no one can safely say what will be the outcome, nor cannot map out a pathway for when the world resettles.
Charity though begins at home, and how can St Vincent and the Grenadines’ sports recover from the various fallouts is critical.
There would be many-sided effects on sports, and whilst we do not know what the future holds, how we prepare for the eventualities is paramount.
Obviously, there would be a readjustment of the country’s budgetary allocations, and surely government would have to reprioritise its spending.
And, we all know that sports, while integral to national development (known, but not embraced), would most likely be one of those sectors that would face a cut.
Therefore, those sporting associations which rely on direct government support, or from other government agencies will suffer.
The knock-down effect is extended, and with diminished activities in sports, other social issues can develop.
This then puts us on a different sphere and understanding of sports, as those entities which help in social control, can now serve the reverse function.
But as we wait out the end of the covid-19 pandemic, many of our sportsmen and women are being placed in a corner of unfamiliarity.
These persons have been accustomed to being in active training or in competition, so being confined can cause some mental challenges.
This is against the knowledge that some of them are doing their little keep fit and engaging in other forms of practice in their small spaces in their homes and in their communities.
Looking ahead and being optimistic that it would be sooner than later, national associations may have to begin thinking of counselling, psycho-social support and psychological intervention for their members.
In the interim, these organisations have to devise methods of keeping in contact with these members who can become distraught and disillusioned by the unusual turn of events.
It would be a travesty that when things are finally cleared and some semblance of normalcy returns, some or many of our aspiring sportsmen and women drop out from their respective sporting disciplines.
Indeed, this is a possibility, as we are aware that some of the budding sports people are fickle, as they too have underlying issues.
But whilst we tend to our own affairs, we have to be mindful about the truism that when the other parts of the world sneezes, we catch the cough or come down with a cold.
Hence, with most of our national sporting associations, depending on funding from their parent bodies.
These parent bodies themselves rely on the income from global events.
It may stand to reason that despite the international parent bodies being well endowed financially, they too would take a hit, as some of the events would either be postponed or cancelled.
It is no gainsaying that some of our national associations, which are beneficiaries of financial aid, can see a reduction in their quotas or additional perks and benefits.
Softening the blow from the covid-19 pandemic is our best route at this juncture.
So as the timeline of the coronavirus continues to be reconfigured, and the protracted displacement in human living extended, it must be a wait and see undertaking.
As our faith is being tested, we here in St Vincent and the Grenadines have a mantra that we can hold on to.
This mantra is found in our national anthem, as we often refrain : “Our faith will see us through”.