Hats off to the se­niors

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

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.

Po­lit­i­cal foot­ball

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.

Pos­i­tive di­ver­sions

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.

(FP)

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.

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