Sir Wesley: Talent not enough
Sir Wesley HalL has had many memorable moments in his distinguished career.
Saturday night at the Frank Collymore Hall was no different.
Before a packed hall at the National Sports Council’s annual awards ceremony, Sir Wesley, who delivered the feature address on the topic Sports And Fair Play, thrilled those in attendance with a riveting, thought provoking, stern and at times comical speech, which earned him a standing ovation.
In his wide-ranging address, Sir Wesley urged the young sportsmen and women to keep away from illegal drugs, citing cyclist Lance Armstrong’s fall from glory as a perfect example of what could happen to them.
Instead, he told them to strive for their goals using their talents, discipline and a good work ethic.
“I wish to advise all sportpersons how to reach the top using the talent, sports ethic, discipline and maturity in such a way that they will be equally poised to enjoy the trampoline effect that is guaranteed with their success in sports and their upward mobility in life. That is what I am all about,” he said.
The former West Indies fast bowler advised them to go for their dreams and to never let anyone deter them from their goals.
He also spoke about the importance of education, telling the audience that books and sport went hand in hand.
“My dear awardees, your wells of creativity will also be replenished as you progress in your sporting endeavours,” Sir Wesley said.
“But whatever you do, never give up on your education, but let God be at the epicentre of your endeavours.”
The former Minister of Sports also told the island’s up and coming sports personalities that talent by itself was not enough to get them to the top.
He compared professional sports to that of a battleground, where only the fittest, both physically and mentally, would survive.
However, despite the competitiveness encountered on the field of play, Sir Wesley instructed them to enjoy themselves at all times.
“You may think that sporting life at the highest level is a playground. But I want to tell every one of you that sports at the highest level is a battleground.
“But learn to obey that battlefield, for even though there are very tough battles which are fought on the field of play, the relationships formed with the players and their parties last for a lifetime.”
“You need to enjoy your sports, you need to enjoy the competition however you can, because when you go to the line, or you go to hear that gun go, you are alone.
“So it is only your entire mindset that will help you. Coaches cannot help you at that time or anybody else, so I just want you to enjoy your sports and do what is right,” Sir Wesley said.