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EDITORIAL: Continue to uplift our youth


EDITORIAL: Continue to uplift our youth

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TODAY WE SALUTE the young sportspeople who did Barbados proud at this year’s CARIFTA events here and in St Kitts.

This country’s national colours were flying high during the 44th annual track and field games in Basseterre this past weekend, when athletes secured seven gold, four silver, and five bronze medals. At home, the chess team won the title and the swimmers were just one shy of their best ever performance, winning 52 medals – 30 gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze.

Congrats are therefore in order for the all the teams. Given track and field’s wider reach and the live television coverage, the nation’s eyes would have been on St Kitts where Mary Fraser  won three of our gold medals, and Mario Burke, two.

Special kudos to first-timer Fraser, a distance runner, who won the Under-18 Girls’ 800 metres and 1 500 metres, and the Open Girls’ 3 000 metres. She also walked away with the prestigious Austin Sealy Award for the most outstanding athlete.

The trip didn’t start very well for the Bajan athletes when on the first night they arrived, some team members had to sleep on the floors and on rollaway beds at the Marriott Hotel where they were booked to stay.

Marriott’s director of event planning said, however, that the hotel was not expecting the Barbadians until the following day.

Thankfully, that did not put a damper on the spirits of the team, who, despite the setback, were at the top of their game and represented Barbados admirably.

At a time when so many of our young people are criticised for lacking in values and morals and with criticism after criticism levelled against them for some of the wrongs in society, it is heartening that these young athletes can excel in their chosen disciplines and shine.

Too often, our young people are not given a chance to show their merit and mettle and are very often cried down and not given enough opportunities to develop their skills. Our young people need to be confident in the fact that they will have the strong support and backing to make an outstanding contribution to society.

We need to continue to lift up our youth, to inspire them and guide them and give them all the tools they need to succeed in whatever discipline they choose. We need to support them and encourage them along their journey. Even when they fall, society must be there to help to pick them up, and shoulder them on to bigger and better.

The youth of this country need us today more than ever before. They need to feel that they can count on our support, guidance and wise counsel.

In short, we need to believe in our young people and know that they will take this country forward.

They are our future.