Athletes did well for Barbados
THE GRATIFICATION that the athletes who participated in the CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas and Jamaica brought to us over the Easter weekend should not go without appreciation.
The Games are one of the more looked forward to events by our young athletes but the lead up to them was not without its challenges.
Against the backdrop of an unavailability of the National Stadium, critical to the track athletes, many hopefuls had to travel outside of Barbados to meet the qualifying standards.
With the stadium out of commission, an accompanying controversy surrounding venues for the staging of our primary and secondary schools track and field meets also cast a shadow over the preparation for the Games.
In spite of all the above, our young people maintained a sense of purpose and represented Barbados exceptionally well.
The statisticians will have their time to analyze what the results mean, but full credit must be given to the athletes who rose to the occasion to sustain Barbados’ credibility on the regional junior athletics circuit.
Our fourth place in track and field in The Bahamas with 20 medals – which included four gold and 14 silver – does not tell the whole story. The number of silvers suggested that we are up there in the events in which we competed.
The CARIFTA swimmers, who do not get the same focus as their track counterparts, also impressed with 41 medals in Jamaica. The tally included 20 gold and nine silver.
The youngsters provided a clear example to those sport organizers that “where there is a will there is a way” and it is better to put aside individual differences and approaches in order to triumph for the good of all.
Even though the Games are over there is still a lot of disquiet about the local track and field calendar where too many players seem to be not on the same page. This is certainly not a good example for our young people and it is time for those in charge of our sporting destiny to get their act together.
Our athletes should use their experience to good advantage realizing that obstacles can crop up unexpectedly and ways have to be found to get around them.
The help of Government and the private sector will be needed to ensure that the opportunities and facilities are available to assist in the development of future Barbados sport ambassadors, but individual discipline and a will to succeed should not be discounted by those who need to excel.
The journey to bigger and better times has, hopefully, just started.