By Chester Morgan
My series for “Updating/Upgrading of Sports Policy in SVG” started as an initiative of mine to ignite public awareness of the urgent need to revisit our sports policy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I also think sports, on a whole, needs to be held in much higher esteem.
According to one writer, referring to the care for sports, sport policy refers to the formal rules and regulations of a sporting organisation (or governing body) intended to guide employee action.
In more detail, sport policy is an outline of the direction a sport should take, according to the makers of a policy. In this case, the target is the government’s sports policy. In the development and implementation of a sports policy, first and foremost, an experiment date takes the driver seat. The experiment date correlates to the golden rule of sports science, where you start seeing results of a sports action plan within a 10- to 15-year period.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a sports policy that was headed by the National Olympic Committee a few years ago. My analysis of that policy, from a standpoint of one with a keen eye for sporting development in our blessed nation, concluded there are some wonderful statements and action plans highlighted. However, many vital areas are missing.
With a strong mission and vision in place, and objectives that house solid action plans, I anticipate positive outcome. My research and personal experience put me in a great position to give input or suggestions for our policy.
The documents will be created in series with an objective and their action plans, like:
Series 1: Increased participation in sports and physical activities.
Series 2: Better coaches/sports personnel lead to better athletes and a healthier nation through education processes.
- Create, implement, and evaluate a coaching framework for national development, which all coaches must complete before doing any other association courses.
- Use certified achievements as a form of upgrading coach qualification in the education system, the public, and private sectors.
- Attach a division of sports to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, which would offer associate degrees in various concentrations of sports.
- Recognise that the standards of coaching, sports science and that of umpires, judges, and referees need drastic improvement. Concerted steps will be taken to train coaches, sports scientists, judges, referees, and umpires, in line with international standards.
- In addition to developing of experts within the institutional framework of the country, the deputation of promising persons to attend training courses, conferences, seminars, workshops, and tournaments abroad so that they remain abreast of relevant development in their fields will be encouraged.
- Create a position of National Technical Director who will work with all associations to develop their educational programmes, training methods, and administrative work.
- Give mandate to the sports department along with the association to develop sports within the school system and guide the upper-level students who are doing physical education. Their sole responsibility is to develop sports.
- Experts would be associated with each Sports discipline or groups of sports disciplines, continuingly, to provide the requisite support in terms of nutrition, psychology, medicine, pharmacology, physiology, biomechanics, and anthropometry as well as other branches of Sports Sciences, as educators and group leaders.
- Implement a coaching development programme with a team of qualified experts that monitors, evaluates and educates our coaches in the country.
- The role of mass media is central to the popularisation and education of sports amongst the population at large. The electronic media, including the national broadcasters, the private channels, and the print media would be suitably mobilised for strengthening a sports culture in the country.