The ‘Blame Game’ of who is really at fault for the current state of sports development in Guyana is anyone’s guess, and quite often it is based on the author’s inclinations and mirrored by the arguments being presented.
For the technocrats, soldiers of fortune and keyboard warriors, a basic definition of the popular term is “a situation in which one party blames others for something bad or unfortunate rather than attempting to seek a solution.”
This sums up the existing state of affairs plaguing the local sports fraternity in the simplest definition. Many are responsible for the existing status, with the previous Government, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) sitting atop the ‘black list’ of defaulters.
In their 23 years in office, which started in 1992 and ended in 2015, the then ruling administration lacked any empathy for Sport on the whole and treated it like a second class citizen, [a sentiment that is still felt to this day]. This visionless posture was evident by their failure to implement the long overdue Sport Policy.
The aforementioned disappointment has certainly influenced the nation’s ‘Sports Culture’ which is virtually non-existent, leaving the athletes and budding talents to the peril of time.
Added to this indiscretion, Sports was saddled with a Director, who it was generally felt, for an eternity who could not tell the difference between Barcelona and Besitkas, an absurd reality. No wonder Sport has never progressed. For the record, both are prominent football teams, with the former a renowned Spanish giant and the latter a juggernaut from Turkey.
The current administration although slightly better, is also mirroring their former counterparts, as they have failed to remedy many of the shortcomings.
Their failure also to enact the Sport Policy continues to illustrate the lack of importance Sport plays locally. Next up on the list, the Sports Administrators. These ‘elected’ officials and executive committees enter office amidst much fanfare under the guise of possessing structured developmental plans.
However, perception and reality are never married in this equation, with the constant axiom of financial shortcomings from the private sector and government, the common excuse churned out by these individuals, who seem more focused on their own personal aggrandizement.
The current state of our major sports, cricket, football, and basketball point to the lack of structure and turmoil that have often typified our sporting environment, which has become a breeding ground for corruption and politicking. Alas, Mr. Integrity seems to be often (or is it always), off on vacation in this realm.
The athletes are also not spared from criticism, as they have allowed administrators to dictate the pathways of the respective disciplines at their unfortunate expense. Without their participation, sport would not exist and the continued failure to recognize their inherent power, speaks volume to the level of the aptitude that exists among this valued human resource.
Lastly, the media is just as culpable for the current situation. As the gatekeepers and watchdogs of the public domain, few in this august entity have taken on this mantle (or lack the courage to), with many of the respective administrators and influential figures escaping scrutiny for a variety of reasons.
Real development of the standards of performance, and not rhetoric spewed by politicians who masquerade as administrators, inevitably leads to expectations, with resulting failures, justifiably leading to severe but deserving criticism.
In a failed sporting nation such as ours, anything will be [and has been] accepted, thus propagating the belief of false accomplishment by many stakeholders.
The current state of our sporting landscape is a reflection of the dysfunctional society that we dwell in, and as such, sport is doomed to slide into further mediocrity until a change in the mindset and personnel occurs at every level.