2015 BVI Softball Association season in doubt

BVI Softball Association President Neville "Sheep" Smith, pitching during the finals of the 2014 League Championships Game 7

BVI Softball Association President Neville “Sheep” Smith, pitching during the finals of the 2014 League Championships Game 7

By Dean Greenaway

One thing is certain. If there’s to even a 2015 BVI Softball Association season, it will not start on time.

In late November, association officials sent out requests throughout the softball fraternity requesting nominations for all positions on the executive. A Dec 10 deadline elapsed with no one showing interest in any position on the association.

Even before the 2014 season ended when he helped Power Outage to the Men’s League title, association president Neville “Sheep” Smith—who had been pumping his own money into the association—announced that he would not be seeking re-election and also retiring as a player.

“I can safely say myself as secretary, I will not be going for another team,” Flax-Headley said of being on the body, the second oldest sport in the territory and has had an ongoing league since 1952.

“I do believe that there are other members who don’t have the desire to be there for another term. We have been there for three or four terms now and I think it’s time for some new blood.”

The secretary said that most of the current executive members are willing to work with whoever is elected as a means of support, but they need persons to hold key position to carry the sport forward.

With Smith stepping down, Flax-Headley said while he likes the sport, he seems to be frustrated that he’s there and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. She said his thinking is, if someone gets the opportunity, maybe they might be able to take the sport where he and his team couldn’t take it.

“In anything, you have to know when your end has come and step down,” she stated. “I think he’s doing the admirable thing by giving someone else the chance to do what he couldn’t do.”

When asked what is needed to take the sport further, Flax-Headley said softball needs money.

“Like everything else, you can have all the interest and you can have all the ideas, but unless you have the funding, you can’t go anywhere,” she pointed out. “Another key thing for softball right now is that we need umpires. We need persons who can step up to the plate. We can have a clinic, but you need persons to bring in to conduct these clinics. There are persons who want to help, but they don’t want to make the commitment.”

The association runs an annual league Flax-Headley noted but they need to get beyond that she said, noting that they need to organize tournaments with players from other countries coming. That too takes money to organize she said.

Additionally, the facilities are also in need of dire repairs not just now but this has been a problem for years she said.

“Every year there are promises and every year there’s just a little quick fix and at the end of it, another year passes,” she explained. “I think for softball to go anywhere in the BVI, we need committed people from top to bottom—persons who would like to see the sport develop. I know people have been talking about sports tourism. It’s a good thing, if we look at that as another avenue we can look at in building our territory. There’s big bucks in sports tourism, but, you have to put in big bucks to make the big bucks so to speak.”