By Jamie Worboys:
Interning for St. Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee (SVGOC) under Commonwealth Games of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Scholars Initiative has been nothing but an exciting yet challenging experience. Seeing as I came into this internship position not knowing what to expect, I really had no expectations. When I first walked into the small office in Kingstown Park I couldn’t help but notice the walls suffocating from an immense amount of pictures, awards, and articles. Contrary to my imagination’s SVGOC House, the office seemed extremely small and basic to host a NOC. This was where I would spend the next few months of my life so I began to embrace the simplicity and coziness of it.
So there I was sitting at an office desk that had one pen and two large research documents from the previous intern. I thought to myself, “what next?”. I really had no idea where to start. I knew that SVGOC’s goals were to establish and develop community-based multi-sport clubs in geographical areas but where to begin was an issue I faced. After reading through the last intern’s documents I began to grasp an idea of where St. Vincent’s sport system stood. This helped me facilitate what my role of being “Phase 2” of the project was.
In order to get a better idea of the four clubs I would help to further develop, I decided to send out a personalized survey for each club to determine their wants, needs, problems, etc. This would be my first step to analyzing and drafting up personalized plans for each club. But this is Saint Vincent and things don’t work the same way down here. Good luck getting an e-mail responded back or phone call returned in a timely manner. The response rate of the four surveys was surprisingly painful as no one has yet to return them still. This challenge continues to test my patience every day.
Although I was hoping that analyzing data from surveys would be my first step to actually making a difference in St. Vincent’s sport system, I had to re-strategize. How am I going to get data from the clubs if no one is responding back to me? Sending reminder e-mails…done. Personally phoning them to remind them…done. I guess I should put the surveys on the back burner for now and figure out where to go from here. While Mr. Joseph is out of the office frequently, there is nobody to give me assistance around the Olympic House as the secretaries are incredibly busy with their own work. This position has challenged my independence to the fullest and has prepared me for the potential obstacles I could face throughout my career.
Not knowing where to go after the dead end of the survey situation, I have spent the majority of my time reading an immense amount of academic research on the development of sport clubs. I have collected a lot of information from various resources like academic literature, websites, sport organizations, and more. I have read about various processes and templates of starting a new club, creating an executive committee, attracting and retaining volunteers, club amalgamation, and more. By the end of this weekend, I hope to find my surveys returned so I can use this knowledge I have learned this week and apply it to the sport clubs I will help assist.
Meanwhile in the office I have gotten the opportunity to experience how an Olympic House operates. Seeing as this office is rather small, every conversation can be heard between the general secretaries and other sport people of SVG. It is interesting to hear about both the successes and complications that this Olympic House conquers on a daily basis… Something interesting is always happening at this Olympic House.
The essence of this “island time” has been a real struggle for me. I have always been that person who takes pride in their time management and efficiency. Being placed in a work environment that is contrary to my own work habits has me frustrated (and even bored) at times. But now I am on island time, I need to try and embrace the laid back style of work here in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.