Wednesday, August 13, 2008

FSM Sports, Where Has It Been?

OK. So FSM has now been to three World Olympics. What does that really mean to the average kid or citizen living in any of the four states? Not much, maybe. A documentary (and perhaps promotion) of sports in the FSM was just recently released by Micsem. Actually, such documentary was a project for the FSM National Olympic Committee who "contracted" Micsem to graphically depict the history of sports in the FSM. For the most part, "Chasing The Dream", the title of the documentary, is very much appreciated.

But as our athletes once again approach the global scene in what is FSM's third Olympic experience, it is prime time for athletes, sports organizations, the NOC, to seriously assess where their efforts have been spent and whether or not they have been spent in a manner consistent with where we want to be. In other words, are we truly satisfied or happy about the way sports competitions and programs have been managed: from the village corners, school settings, island-wide recreational or competitive games, all the way to the FSM Games?

Time has come for the leaders, the stakeholders, the athletes and coaches, relevant government and non-government agencies that directly deal with sports and recreation, to give sports the attention in requires in order to ensure ourselves and our future generations that a mechanism for establishing pathways to success is continuously under construction. Judging from where we are right now, we can honestly say that very little is taking place for an uncomfortably long time at practically all homefronts. The occurences of our recreational and competitive events have been very sporadic or simply been very stagnant for a long time.

In order for our national programs to thrive, our state programs must be in motion. Event this concept has taken a vacation and is long overdue. Without this, without the most elementary basis of sports program being in motion at the grassroots level, FSM's appearance at the Olympics would be a phony and humiliating display.

So, "Chasing The Dream" is indeed a dream -- it's depiction of where sports is at the moment is in itself a perfect example of what seems to be our most consistant practice -- that is, putting a glossy picture over the true reflection of the status of sports throughout the FSM. It is a beautiful production that reveals the few "successful" stories and triumphs in fostering the visualization of Olympic dreams in spite of the many graphic pictures of delapitating and improvised sporting facilities that have stalled our chances to relish in larger scale success for FSM. Chasing The Dream needs to wake up and take a good look at Mr. and Mrs. reality right where we are.

So while our athletes warm up for their events in Beijing, we might need to poise ourselves to appreciate their present abilities and demand of them and ourselves a bolt resolve to be better. This needs to start now and not later. Sports must roll on in spite of all the difficulties. We can not afford to keep talking the fansy discourses of Olympic dreams...We must venture more deeply and more constructively into the vast forest of possibilities at home before we continue to search for high-tech modernized enterprises in global sporting glamors.

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