Does anyone believe that the organizers of Sports in Jamaica would allow what is happening in Barbados to occur over there? We have a situation where the National Sports Council and the Barbados government made the correct decision to relay the track at the National Stadium. Unfortunately because of factors beyond the control of the actors in the project (we are told) the exercise has taken longer than originally planned. As a result the two premier sporting events which target the youth and facilitate qualification for CARIFTA are at serious risk of being cancelled.
The National Primary Schools Athletics Championships (NAPSAC) normally scheduled at the end of February has been postponed as well as the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships (BSSAC). With so many vacant pastures in Barbados one is left to wonder why a committee comprised of of our brightest could not conceptualized and implemented a contingency plan. Obviously if the young ones do not perform on a track which is accredited they forego having their times officially registered but which is the lesser of the two evils, performing on a non-accredited track or not performing at all?
It was only a few months ago BU expressed a desire to see a shakeup at the Barbados Olympic Association Executive. The status quo was maintained. When we look at many of our sporting organizations the same faces are being rotated on the Executives. In the schools the job of the Physical Education teacher is seen as the one on the last rung on the totem pole. Also academic work is placed ahead of sporting disciplines. The opportunities which are created by overseas colleges conferring sports scholarships on our young people seems not to be understood by the powers that be.
Every four years we lament our returns from the Olympics but we obviously lack the vision and management skills to create a vibrant national program to harness the obvious talent shown by our young people. It is hard enough having to compete against the odds given our lack of resources but then we compound it by what is happening now.
If NAPSAC and BSSAC are cancelled the Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley, National Sports Council Director Erskine King and Minister of Education Ronald Jones should resign forthwith. What about the parents? Is this not a cause which is worthy of their attention? Why are they not bombarding the respective ministries?