Investing in local sports a must
Mon, July 23, 2012 - 4:55 PM
Nation Sports journalist Sherrylyn A Toppin will be blogging from London for the 2012 Olympics.
A few weeks after returning from the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda, I began what I thought was the relatively simple process of tracking down Barbados' Olympians and chronicling their stories.
It served two purposes - one being the start of our lead-up coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the second is that history was one of my favourite subjects while at school and I strongly believe we need to record the past for future generations.
It was not that simple, even on an island as small as Barbados.
I was aware that some were deceased and others had migrated. But I wanted to capture as many stories as I could.
It was an absolutely enjoyable experience. I was especially pleased to get the recollections of 1968 Olympians Angus Edghill (swimming) and Hadley Hinds (athletics) who were part of the very first Barbados team.
Capturing some on video also brought a different dimension to the series which I was pleased to embrace. They can be found in the video section of the website.
Several Olympians refused. They did not want to be in the limelight.
Others said they would "think about it” and call me back. Some wanted to, but couldn't find the time. I simply couldn't fit them all in because the days rolled around so quickly.
I wish to thank everyone who told their story. Those who weren’t featured this time around, please don’t see it as a slight.
One common theme which emerged was that we haven't come very far in 40 years and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.
We have to invest in our sportsmen and women before they make it big and amp up that level of financial support after they reach the world stage to get even greater rewards.
Don’t just make the promises when they return and give them “house an’ lan’” in the heat of the moment, only to forget about them as the event fades from memory.
It’s been 12 years since Obadele Thompson won his bronze medal and we are still struggling to get athletes into the finals.
The wait continues.
Success reaps success, but we first have to make that start.
I was fortunate to be in Athens, but I was not in Beijing.
I’ve told their stories. Over the next three weeks I will share with you my Olympic experience in London.
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