St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc., in conjunction with the Consulate General of SVG, and The Council of SVG Organizations, USA. Inc. (COSAGO), held a round table consultation with the Vincentian Diaspora in the United States at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, Brooklyn, New York on June 8.

The meeting was scheduled as a follow-up to the Diaspora Committee’s Sports Round Table Consultation held on April 21, 2012.

The objectives of the consultation were to follow-up on the recommendations of the Round Table Consultation on Sports held April 21, 2012 and to promote the inclusion of Diaspora Vincentians in the development of SVG’s National Sports Policy, programmes, and projects.

The meeting heard a presentation from Joanne Legair, coordinator of the SVG Diaspora Committee’s Sub-Committee on Social Development, who also serves as treasurer of the SVG Diaspora Committee of New York Inc.

She spoke on the topic “The significance of the sports initiative of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc”.

In addition, Mulraine Richards, a leading member of the Diaspora Committee’s Sub-Committee on Unity and Governance, and an outstanding former national cricketer, made a presentation on “Review of ideas and recommendations of the Round Table Consultations held in 2012”.

Maxwell Haywood, chairperson of the Diaspora Committee, spoke on “Identification of specific ideas and projects from last year’s consultation to implement”.

Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Cecil McKie, spoke broadly about sports development in SVG and the importance of the Diaspora to this development process.

Several recommendations from last year’s consultation will be implemented immediately. They include:

1.Highlight the successes of Vincentian athletes in the Diaspora and the meaning of these positive legacies for SVG. Therefore, efforts would be made to organize a sports awards event for those in the Diaspora and the results should be integrated in the national sports awards in SVG.

2.Create a directory or data base that will contain and highlight sports resources in the Diaspora, including Vincentian sports organizations, sports persons and other persons who could make a contribution to sports in SVG and the Diaspora, sports events, and other relevant information.

3.Identify and develop funding initiatives and funding sources for sports.

4.Efforts would be made to organize a Diaspora sports mission to SVG soon after the Argyle international airport is completed to participate in sports throughout the country.

5.Establishment of a Vincentian Diaspora sports umbrella organization made up of all sport disciplines, which among other things, would represent the Diaspora sports sector in relations with SVG.

6.Promote more involvement of the Diaspora in promoting and encouraging the participation of young Vincentian athletes in Penn Relays.

7.Create mentoring and other development programmes for young athletes in the Diaspora

An appeal was made for Vincentians to join the Diaspora Committee as members to help in carrying forward these vital recommendations.