W.I. Sports Decision

Windward Islands sports officials called on to make hard decisions by Robertson S Henry - www.sportcaraibe.net

FRIDAY APRIL 23, 2010, GROS-ISLET, Saint Lucia – Officials of the four Windward Islands discussed a number of wide-ranging issues, aimed at the overall improvement of the Annual Windward Islands School Games.

The meeting which was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel, saw the brief opening ceremony addressed by Donovan Williams, the Permanent Secretary in Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, who called on participants to take the hard decisions necessary, for “this meeting cannot be business as usual.”

While the meeting of the officials from the Windward Islands is an annual event, the Permanent Secretary saw this year’s meeting as a special event.

He noted that while there are ongoing deliberations in all of the islands on what ways to get young people to engage in more positive activities, persons must remain cognizant that central to that is the role of sports, especially school-base sports.

The Permanent Secretary told the participants that he cannot see how the young people can be engaged in sporting activities, without the involvement of school-base sports.

He admitted that in the current economic and financial climate in which governments have to make hard choices, the social sector gets the least of the pie, and out of that social pie, sports get an even smaller slice. 

In this regard, according to Williams, “We have to think very seriously about a new platform for school sports.”

He said that this new platform would also make the Games more attractive to the corporate sector. This is critically important for in today’s economic climate, the corporate sector is very concerned in the manner of their investments.

Therefore the Permanent Secretary said that the decisions taken must be inclusive of providing the young people with new avenues in sports which would excite them, through which more students would be attracted to sports.

These decisions also must take into account giving greater exposure to the Games sponsors, through a more vigorous marketing campaign, along with increased media coverage.
This new platform would result in a new brand of athletes emerging, for use of the platform of school sports is the way to move forward.

He said that persons must look critically at all factors, for through this new way would be looked at towards improving upon the old ways things are done.

Permanent Secretary Williams called on all participants to work towards making the Windward Islands School Games becoming “a real flagship event in the sub-region.”

The support from all individuals and agencies are critically important, for after a close look at all of the factors involved towards making the Windward Island Games to be what many envisage, in which the Saint Lucia Ministry of Youth and Sports Permanent Secretary said “we have no choice.”  (Robertson S Henry/www.sportcaraibe.net)