Rising from the ashes of 2020
The year 2020 is almost history physically, but its events and memories would forever be etched in the thoughts of many the world over.
It was a year that most persons want to delete as never happened or simply be glad to be hit with a severe bout of amnesia.
This, as the threats of the novel corinavirus (COVID-19), after being declared a pandemic in March, gripped the world’s health, slowed down every country’s economy; curtailed social life and interaction and postponed or stalled totally several global sporting events – tournaments, championships and the likes.
Here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the situation is no different, as we too have been dealt a heavy hand, as most sporting events were affected, at least for a two to three-month period.
Fortunately for us though, the authorities here were not as stringent and draconian as others, and gave leeway to some gatherings of sports people. Hence, many persons were able to engage in some active training, as both the physical and mental sides of our sportsmen and women, were kept going.
Of significance too, no known deaths were attributed as being caused by the coronavirus, which somewhat softened the fear factor.
This led to some lights being flicked on for us, as a few competitions resumed, while others got started, which helped us immensely in staying relevant and maintaining our sanity.
So amidst the uncertainties and the heightened fears of the pandemic, during the period March to July, St Vincent and the Grenadines somewhat showed how things can happen.
This, as there was the hosting of the first edition of the Vincy Premier League in May, which provided live cricket action for the rest of the world. Incidentally, St Vincent and the Grenadines would have created history, as the first country to serve up live cricket during that period.
Additionally, our local cricket competitions, the premier and first divisions, were completed, so to was the premier and first divisions of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s national club championships.
Then as things slowly got some semblances of normalcy, Table Tennis, Basketball, Netball, Softball Cricket, Swimming, Cycling, Tennis and Athletics, all found ways of having their constituents occupied and involved.
But one of the biggest local achievement was the realisation of the long-awaited delivery of a synthetic track, which was erected at Diamond.
Indeed, St Vincent and the Grenadines got a worthy plus to its sporting infrastructure, albeit overdue. However, we should all concede, that it is better late than never and that nothing happens before its time.
So as we flip the calendar and time moves on and 2021 steps in, we have to face the reality that the pandemic is still with us. We have to hold on to the hope we have endured the worst of it.
Nothwithstanding the ever present uncertainty, we are in a better position, better prepared and in a frame of mind to make the necessary adaptation to have sports in a wholesome manner in 2021.
As it is, we cannot cower in light of the existing pandemic; become docile and let sports meander here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
This is mandatory, as it is evident that despite the unabated pandemic, as well as the growing infections, deaths and hospitalisations, the global sports set up is preparing for the best of outcomes in the new year.
The Olympics seems to be on track for hosting; so too are the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, while other major championships are optimistically looking at the next 12 months with high anticipation.
Vincentian sportsmen and women may have to make the hard decision of taking of a vaccine in order to fall in line with the expected compulsory protocols for international participation in some sporting events.
So, as we move into the new year, that psychological training which was thrusted on us over the past nine months, should act as a precursor and cognitive preparation to the unpredictable future.