Huntsman Games honour for Clarke
Rawle Clarke has another honour coming his way.
The former Olympian and national standout sprinter is set to become the first Caribbean man to be inducted into the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame after being selected in this year’s class.
Clarke spoke of his latest accolade after receiving a letter from chief executive officer of the games, Kyle Chase, informing him of his selection for the October 9 induction ceremony in Utah.
“I really wasn’t expecting this so soon, so when I saw the letter I just had to read it twice,” said 60-year-old Clarke.
“I guess they appreciate the work in getting the other Caribbean islands involved in their games. I always try to go further, though, by giving my input where I feel [it is] necessary and just by lending a helping hand because that is always appreciated.”
A member of Barbados’ team to the Montreal Olympics in 1976, Clarke was a household name in local athletics as a standout sprinter in the 1970s.
But Clarke has since made a name for himself on the international circuit by leading and organising a Barbadian team that perennially dominates the track at the Huntsman Games.
The one-time Olympian has also been instrumental in getting the other Caribbean countries on board with the senior games since Barbados’ first participated in 2003.
Clarke doesn’t intend to stop there, though, as he is currently in the process of planning an international meet that would see those Huntsman senior athletes coming to the region to compete against the Caribbean’s best.
“Every year they host about 10 300 athletes in 28 disciplines, so imagine if we can just get a small sample of that for our games what that would do for Barbados,” said Clarke.
“It would help to develop our own senior athletes, provide them with better competition and help improve our entire health sector in terms of dealing with older people and non-communicable diseases.
“So right now we’re trying to link with as many people as possible with hopes of staging an international meet every year but it won’t be this year or next year.”
Clarke said he would also like to see the re-introduction of a regional senior meet, which was last staged in Barbados six years ago.
The former Olympic sprinter is the second Bajan to be honoured by the committee of the Huntsman Games after multi-gold medallist and record-holder Ainsley Lovell was made a life member two years ago. (JM)