Monday, September 16, 2019

Get Serious About Sports!

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Dear Editor,

Parents are asked all the time to support their children in their extra-curricular activities, particularly in their sporting activities.  I supported my children’s activities in sports and I’m now supporting my grandchildren as they participate.

Those persons who are asking us to support our children should understand that the conditions at these events and activities should encourage participation from parents and other spectators, yet sadly, many of them do not.  

There seems to be much mediocrity in sports at this time, both at the participation level and at the administration level.  From a participation standpoint, it appears at least to me, that there are fewer persons actively involved in sports.

Fewer of our young people are out there getting involved in our traditional sports such as netball or track and field.  Football might be an exception as the St. Lucia Football Association seems to be on a mission to get all young St. Lucians in the game. But the other sports are suffering, either from lower numbers of participants or from low levels of quality.  

The administration of sports is another area where mediocrity reigns.  Many of our national associations do not function in the manner that they should.  The Executive of some of these associations seem to be Executives for life, while the affiliates seem uninvolved or under involved.  Sports administration is a volunteer business and many people are hesitant to give freely of their time. As a result, we often get persons who are not committed, or who do not have the necessary skills to get the job done.  

Administration at the national level is another sad chapter in this story.  Do we have a Minister for Sports or a Ministry of Sports? Both seem to be missing in action.  If anyone is following, the school sports season this year has been truly horrendous. There was much confusion at the beginning of the school year as to whether there would be school sports.  Communication or the lack of communication from the Ministry of Sports fueled the confusion. In hindsight, there probably should have been no school sports so we could be spared the debacle of this season.

The Athletics Championships just ended and the only reason I attended was to support my grandson.  I got over the disappointment of seeing his interhouse meet started with a whistle (at the secondary school level).  I’m still fuming at the time wasted at the Qualifiers and Finals due to late starts and the myriad other problems reported by his PE teacher who seems extremely fed up at this point.

  The Athletics Championships has been on for decades and it is still beset by so many issues! Why is that? The Interprimary meet was held on April 3rd.  The meet started two hours later than scheduled, two days later, no results have been disseminated; no one knows who won the meet!

How do they expect sponsors to support that level of nonsense?  This is 2019 and our Ministry of Sports cannot execute an effective interschool meet? Something is very wrong here. If we expect persons to support their children’s involvement in sports, the Ministry of Sports and other persons responsible for these activities need to do better with the execution of these activities; they need to offer a better product to encourage participation from parents, athletes, sponsors and other stakeholders.  Until we can get that done, we’re just not ready yet.

Frustrated Spectator

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  1. I pay attention to athletics mainly because this is the base of everything.Its a shame to witness the disastrous way that some athletic meets are performed.The schools dont seem to have any idea of what is supposed to be an athletic meet.Children that dont have any idea of were to stand or how to stand for a race,the clothing or lack of clothing children running bare feet or with socks,long pants,any shirt,and the girls with long pants top tanks,tights with skirt ontop,dosent anybody explain to all these children what it means to be part of a school competition? Some schools are so pathetic and embarrasing chidren crossing lanes,tripping other competitors, and it just shows that they dont have any idea or any intrest in school sports,that they should be barred from future participation Ministry spends money paying trainers to work at these schools with the hopes of elevating our chidren to perform better in athletic sports,but its not working for some

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