Caddle: More to come from juniors
BARBADOS’ current junior success doesn’t guarantee the country any future accomplishments.
Not without the necessary support at least.
So says Athletics Association of Barbados (AAB)?first vice-president Dr June Caddle, who warned local track and field fans against expecting a cadre of elite athletes heading into future major meets just because of the recent returns of Barbados’ World Junior Championship squad.
Caddle made the statement at the Grantley Adams International Airport while welcoming home eight members from the team that returned from Oregon.
“Nobody can ever guarantee anything, but I can say that I am sure that we will see something great coming out for the future from this wonderful crop,” said Caddle, who also serves as a board member of the National Sports Council.
“What we’ve done now is phenomenal for the population we have and the facilities we have here, and to have a cadre of elite athletes is very difficult so I think we should celebrate the successes that we’ve earned so far and stay with this bunch.
“It really does look good for us though, but we have to give athletes the support they need. And the support has to come in many ways, like financial support, physical support, support coming out at the stadium and the kind of support that keeps them in the sport after they complete their studies,” she added.
Caddle’s comments come in light of the country’s breakthrough performance at the Junior Worlds, where Barbados recently captured its first ever medal through Akela Jones’ title-winning performance in the women’s long jump.
Top sprinter Levi Cadogan barely missed out on a medal when he placed fourth in the 100 metres final after entering the event with the second fastest time.
“It shows that our under-20s are competitive at the world level which is a major achievement for us,” Caddle said.
“Usually we are competitive at the regional level, or the under-17 level, but we begin to fade away as we get to the under-20s. Now, as a nation of young people we are definitely competitive here so we can only hope that transitions on to the bigger stage.”
Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley, along with other major sporting officials, were also on hand to personally greet the returning members, who unfortunately didn’t include Jones, but featured Cadogan, Tristan Evelyn, Sada Williams, Tia Adana Belle, Jerad Mason, Michael Nicholls, Rivaldo Leacock and Shamar Rock.
“I think it is a very significant occasion for Barbados in the athletic arena and I think they’ve generally done well of course there are some athletes who indicated they wanted to do better but that’s good a good indication of the spirit of the Barbados team,” said Lashley.
“Barbados has always prided itself on producing some excellent athletes, particularly in the area of track and field, and each time our team does well it certainly spurs on the others to be even better.”