Hats off to the seniors
touched by it in one form or other in the next four years although we hope it will be shorter.
I am simply opining that we must find the creativity and the resilience to resist and to survive and that we can take a leaf from the book of our senior athletes. Their performance was on par with previous visits to Utah. They had the will and they found a way.
The annual David Thompson Memorial Football Classic apparently has been terminated without a word but that was to be expected because it was funded from the public purse.
Notwithstanding that it was always a political football from its inception, I am still disappointed that those in the vanguard of its existence didn’t follow in the footsteps of the senior athletes and make an effort to stage it if only in a modified form as a symbolic gesture of carrying on the late Prime Minister’s legacy in this respect. Thompson loved football and the tournament formed part of the social transformation process that helped to keep community spirit alive with young people constructively engaged and putting money in the pockets of entrepreneurs.
The Barbados Labour Party, in Opposition opposed the tournament on the grounds that the money could have been saved because of the difficult economic times but that prognosis also overlooked the value of the social capital. It became an integral part of our sporting landscape and I was among the thousands who eagerly looked forward to it.
Even so, I felt that private sector help could have been sought to cover the expenses or some of them if it became an additional burden on the treasury. Maybe this option wasn’t considered because the last Government wanted to take complete ownership of it in a manner that politicians use such vehicles to further polarise the masses.
Still, I think the idea connected to the tournament was always bigger than petty distractions so some effort outside of governmental support could have been activated to see its continuation.
Both netball and football have Bragging Rights competitions and they are staged without a nickle from the state, so why can’t other sporting projects fall into line? The Hamilton Lashley Human Development Foundation stages the Housing Area Netball Tournament, so there are non-governmental organisations that can get things done for the betterment of society. Community organisations can also play a role in this process.
The national agenda now calls fervently for conscious and positive diversions from the conventional otherwise many of us stand to sink.
Even the new Government showed its ability to pivot when they gave the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme a haircut rather than sever the head.
It was around the same time that the bombshell was delivered to the senior athletes and how they responded is now legendary.
Their stand doesn’t equate to the biblical tales about Daniel in the lion’s den, Jonah in the belly of the whale or Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego being thrown into the fire but it was a good example of how to counter-attack adversity, sportswise and otherwise. There is a lesson in their story we can learn something from, now more than ever.
CO-ORDINATOR of the National Senior Games Rawle Clarke joined with others to ensure that Barbados were represented at this year’s Huntsman Senior Games.