Honouring national commitments
It is welcome news that two outstanding components of the Brighton Playing Field development project, as undertaken by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF), will finally be addressed. They are the fencing of the entire facility and grading of the playing surface.
The FIFA funded project, which involves an expenditure of about EC$900,000, would surely provide the facility with two needed areas of development.
Ten years ago, the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines unhesitatingly, in the interest of national development, leased the Brighton playing facility to the SVGFF for a 25-year period, with the understanding the latter would spruce it up.
Yes, there was the erection of the building, which formed part of the SVGFF’s first FIFA Goal Project.
The Goal Project was not without an inordinate dragged out period of construction, which at times placed the project in doubt.
Truth be told though, there were more factors than just the delays, as seemingly, the project did not sit well with some who headed the administrative arm of the SVGFF at the time.
Luckily, with the entrance of immediate former president – Marvin Fraser, a move was propelled to honour the solemn promise to further the playing field’s development, and the SVGFF engaged in getting the necessary funding from FIFA to fulfill part of the SVGFF’s mandate.
It was the right move, as talks were rife that government was prepared to pull the lease deal, as there was a glaring neglect of the facility; tethering of animals, infrequent cutting of the grass among other lapses in care for the facility.
The spiteful disservice done, simply devalued the facility, made a mockery of the noble and justified intent and left football’s face disfigured with shame.
All lumped, there were deviations from the terms of agreement between the two entities.
So, when the overtures were made to have the facility upgraded, and completion of some of the previous stated development plans, it became a sort of correction of a wrong that had been committed by one former president, who could not see beyond his ambitions and personal preferences.
But that is now water under the bridge, and Carl Dickson and his executive have to ensure that they will be duty bound in relation to the project at Brighton and others to follow and in relation to obligations vested in them by those affiliates who gave them their vote of approval.
Too often, sport here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, both at the community and national levels, is retarded by the whims and fancies of those who are chosen to lead the various organisations.
A common deviation point is that of vendetta, as some are unable to go past spite and at times party politics.
These administrators do so at the expense of the enhancement of the national sporting stock, both human capital and that of infrastructure.
Who are the casualties in the long run? It would always be the young sportsmen and women who become the ones who pay the price for those who are charged with crafting the policies and programmes, to carry the respective sporting disciplines forward.
There are many narratives that we can draw on that can help us to avoid the pitfalls of others.
Sports administrators in the Caribbean region have given us sufficient evidence of the consequences when they put self aggrandizement and other objectives first instead of the holistic benefits of the sportsmen and sportswomen, whom they were elected to serve.
Honouring one’s national commitments is what counts as everyone who is elected to serve, that person’s stewardship would be recorded and graded.