* My column in the May 6, 2018 issue of Island News
By NIMROD NL QUINONES
It makes me both happy and sad to see how some politicians try hard to come up with sports programs during this time of the year, but I remain hopeful that someday all their efforts will bear good fruit as they will realize how things should be done.
I am happy because this means there will be sports activities that people can engage in. No matter what sport it is, anything that is about sports is good and can lead to other good things, but only if done right.
Sports is a good activity and it often goes with the much abused line is that it is a good way to keep the youth away from drugs and other vices. Yes that is good, but then let us see how things are done.
Engaging in sports promotes physical fitness and this is good for the people, but then again, this becomes bad if not done right.
Sports can bring people together, but harmony can only be achieved if things are done right.
I don’t want to sound like I am predicting doomsday, but then I have been involved in sports for a very long time from various positions – as fan, athlete, parent, organizer, official, etc. – and I have seen many good activities fail.
I would not want to assume that pure politics is driving all our politicians to support sports as I know many, who have a genuine reason beyond getting ready for the next elections.
I have seen many good sports programs vanish during the change of administrations or worse when they are left under the care of people, who know little or those who think they know too much.
Now to go to specifics.
Many grassroots sports programs are held during the school break, but there is no grassroots development if such program ends when the classes start.
Many sports activities are done in order to address the drug problem. The youth are encouraged to play in tournaments that encourage them to be healthy. The problem here is that the games are held until the wee hours of the evening and we know what danger lurks at that time of the night.
If only organizers understand this danger, then sporting event will be held much earlier and this will also allow not only the participants and the audience, but also the residents in the areas near the sports arena to rest earlier.
You must have also heard of people getting injured when they take part in sports activities without proper safety precautions in place.
Many years ago, I had a huge scare when a kickboxing event that I was invited to cover was held on a basketball court without a real boxing ring or even mats to cushion the fall if a fighter gets knocked down. I left the place after seeing only one fight as it felt very uncomfortable to see the very dangerous set up.
I am not discouraging you from engaging in sports, what I am pointing out is that things should be done right so the money spent will not go to waste and the participants and the spectators will not get hurt.
Just like many other things, sports can be enjoyed if done right. Let us all help to do things right so that we may have a healthier community and a healthier nation.
Let us talk sports. Send me email through firstname.lastname@example.org.