Sports for all
Will St Vincent and the Grenadines arrive at that juncture when all of our students will be involved in some sporting discipline?
Are we willing and ready to implement a policy to have all persons who are considered of school age, engaged in sports or some sort of physical activity?
Certainly it will not take place in 2020; may be not within the next decade, but hopefully sooner than later.
Why should this column be pushing for those students to play a sport at least?
The response lies in the fact that too many of the nation’s students view sports and physical activities as a burden, as hard work and simply, as just to pass time.
With sports diminishing, our students are becoming increasingly sluggish and less alert.
Unfortunately, such outcomes extend to other issues, as these students’ social and cognitive attributes are affected negatively.
What can be done when many of our youthful population are fed thoughts which are abrasive to sports?
This, as the ill-informed see sports only in that competitive lane, hence, abilities are measured and graded as what is needed to excel, win medals, represent that country, or, for local stars, at least at their respective sporting disciplines.
Thus, the regular pronouncements of what am I getting out of playing sports, or what is sports doing for me, often compound the issues surrounding sports and relegate its significance to national development.
Yes, St Vincent and the Grenadines is not founded on sports, nor has there ever been a national thrust towards elevating it to any prominence.
Neither do we have sufficient achievements and sporting icons to change the psyche of policymakers, nor the sportsmen and women.
But the turn around can come if sports and other forms of physical activity are encouraged from early at the pre-school level, then gradually made mandatory.
The continuum will be put in place such that the attitudes would change throughout the students’ school life and into adult life.
Sports for all does not stop there, as beyond the 40 and over, sports and physical involvement should be second nature.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is limited as it pertains to the provision of sporting opportunities after the age of 40.
Save and except the masters cricket competition and the masters football championships, there are not many outlets for those who are advanced in age.
Yes, there is a Vets netball team, however they have to compete among the very youthful ones.
The SVG Cycling Union, at some of events, cater for the masters/ veterans category.
There is an old boys softball cricket team and football team that participates in the TBPO tournaments.
Occasionally, as well, there may be a few races that are aimed at the veterans. in Team Athletics SVG’s national championships.
We are thankful for what is in place, but more can be done for those seniors who still have the urge to compete, but among themselves.
A well crafted sports for all policy can add that extra and produce a healthier nation.
No one should then act only on the advice of doctors when they are diagnosed with an ailment, and that part of the healing process must be exercise. This should be a way of life, once persons have the physical capabilities.
We have evidence of what sports and physical activities mean to those who are physically and mentally challenged.
Enthusiasm abounds among those special persons who use sports as a form of enjoyment and matters not win, lose or draw.
This country has lived through many national initiatives. It is time for a sports for all policy, beginning from the pre-schools.