Pressure burst pipe
How long must national sporting associations here wait for a facility to call their home?
And how much more must they wait on promises of government’s decision and bureaucracy, to no avail, as the feet dragging is prolonged?
That is the state of play, as the number of national associations being stalled is on the increase, waiting patiently for the unravelling of bureaucracy and decisions from central government.
The latest to be put on hold is the SVG Basketball Federation, which is seeking to have the New Montrose basketball facility enhanced and covered.
The federation, through the SVG Olympic Committee, has been assured US $200 000 to assist with the planned designs of the facility which was established solely for the development of basketball.
At the centre of the protracted delay, is government’s assurance of their input in the facility’s refurbishment.
But the SVG Basketball Federation is not alone, as the SVG Cycling Union, the SVG Volleyball Association, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation and Team Athletics SVG, have at their disposal funding offers from their international parent bodies to construct facilities for the betterment of the respective disciplines.
As it stands, a BMX track for cycling, a beach volleyball court, a home for football and lighting of several playing fields, as well as a synthetic track for athletics, have been given the pause button, much to the disappointment of both the administrators and sportsmen and women alike.
Hopefully, the same expedient way in which a home was found for gymnastics, the same seamless procedures can be applied to those who are forever on the waiting list.
However, as time passes by, the frustration is bursting at the seams with the lack of concrete progress towards realization of these facilities, and impatience sets in.
The frustration is exacerbated by the incoherent and illogical pronouncements and rhetoric spewed by some sports officials, which make the sayings: “send the fool a little further” and “fool ah talk, but fool nah ah listen”, more profound and applicable.
Amidst the many under currents proffered for what is seemingly an institutionalised delay tactics, is a case of party politics, which is motivating the deliberate hold up, because of the political preferences of some of the heads of the national sporting associations.
Whatever is/ are the cause(s) for the delays, the situation is untenable, as in the end it is the sportsmen and women, who are at the losing end.
Our various sporting disciplines are at disadvantageous positions, because they lack the relevant infrastructure to have their charges train and perform in conditions which promote better performances.
But sports of late has become a political football, and each occasion a Vincentian does reasonably well in any discipline, the politicians of both the major political parties are vocal.
They emerge with their grandiose promises and statements that suggest they are really and truly concerned about sports, when their actions are to the contrary.
The synthetic track is their tune of choice, and they have logged on to this like a road march, subtly using the athletes as mere pawns whenever it suits them.
Time is running out, so too is fortitude of those who are suffering as a consequence of the actions of those who are in the positions of making the relevant decisions.
Our policy makers fail to acknowledge the input that sports plays in the socio- economic development of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Several of the national associations, along with the St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee, bring into this country millions of dollars, which in turn not only aids the various sporting disciplines, but also provide much needed economic activities.
It is unfortunate that sports only hold the status of recreation and not as a top prioritised viable income earner for the country.
Those decision makers and shapers of public policies are simply making sport with sports, relying on the overused blarneys.
But how long will the sporting population take this type of trickery?