“Each time I view these international Games, I observe that Jamaica keeps getting better in almost every competition. They are very visible, with multiple athletes in every race possible.
“So when are we in T&T going to get it right?
“Time and time again our athletes will cry out for greater support. When will we begin to create a system where our athletes’ abilities can be improved at an early age?”
The following Letter to the Editor, which laments the lack of development of the country’s young athletes, was submitted to Wired 868 by Jalani Harris of Point Lisas Gardens in Couva:
I must say thanks to the athletes who continue to represent our beautiful two-island nation despite the many challenges that they face. Congrats to those who fought the good fight at the Carifta Games over the weekend and brought home medals. And a special thanks to Avindale Smith, Tyriq Horsford and Shaniqua Bascombe for the incredible efforts shown by them.
Each time I view these international Games, I observe that Jamaica keep getting better in almost every competition. They are very visible, with multiple athletes in every race possible.
So when are we in T&T going to get it right?
Time and time again our athletes will cry out for greater support. When will we begin to create a system where our athletes’ abilities can be improved at an early age?
We have a Sport Ministry but what purpose does it serve? Is the sole purpose of the Ministry’s officials to be present for photo-ops with our successful athletes after they (the athletes) have worked at their craft with little or no help from the officials?
It is quite noticeable that we have a great number of young, talented athletes but a lot more needs to be done with them and for them. It is time for us to rid ourselves of the mentality of yesterday; we simply cannot expect a whole lot from our athletes who represent us in the outside world when we are not doing much for them at home.
So I am making this appeal to the powers-that-be: please let us get serious about our responsibilities, let us get this right. Let us take pattern from our neighbourhood islands and introduce a system to make our athletes better.
What is called for is much more action and much, much less lip service.
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Why must we do that and is only badness and fashion show the youths studying. That is what the people with the greatest influence promoting. They just leading the youths astray with their corrupt and wicked way . Who cares about sports when it have racket to run
Have you ever heard or read about the ministry of education and the ministry of sport soeak about development of our youths…please can anybody refresh my aging memory….
The biggest problem in T&T is that our business men not willing to sponsor and the advertising of events are very poor. If you not actively involved in d sports or have some family playing it you don’t know about it
I think if sports are better attended the businesses would be more interested. I agree that Sport bodies have to do better in promoting events.
Lasana Liburd it seems like the sporting bodies don’t know how to promote their sports… it have social media where you can catch plenty of the younger public and get them interested in the events…. they keep doing the same old thing and expect a different result….
Joel Maloney I agree!!!! The various sporting bodies are the main reason why local sports in this country is in the mess it currently is in.
Once we continue as with everything in this country depending on Governement for everything and not take it upon ourselves to put our money where our mouth is be it corporate or citizens we will remain in the dull drums where sport is concerned in T&T. When medals are won all praise is given after that we are like crabs all man crawl back into their hole until the next gold medal is won and we go on repeat. Yet when other countries like Jamaica produce exellence on the field we wonder why. They have the support mechanism whick we totally lack especally community support. We can go on and on but it all boils down to us supporting each other at all sporting events, its time we as a people get serious and change our mind set of being bandwagonist and start throwing out support by attending games and showing our athletes that we care
Yes Lynette, you talking diet, but every other person blaming administration and society. Most of us want everything done for us and then complain…some athletes in some sports refuse to train with any kind of determination or plan
Again why can’t the National Lotteries earning be used to fund at least 75% of our sports development and support to national athletes.
Even building dormitories or hotels close to our sports stadiums.
No one wants to implement or not seen as a priority as Sports and Sports Tourism can be big revenue earner not expensive infrastructure that does not bring in revenue like highway expansion. Ofc there must be an excellent management and maintenance of Sports assets.
We should note that Jamaica population is about 5 million and therefore have large bank.
Trinis like winners but we will not pay $40 TT to see our athletes perform. Government does its part but the public ..we are a mess, wanting to reap where we will not sow. Full of criticism but we will not sponsor and we will not pay. All we care when someone wins is ..we getting ah holiday? Grow up like Jamaica and love your own
because we have to address how we market sports. we can learn a lot from America in that regard.
When all who in charge fulling their pockets and getting fat off of the money that is supposed to go towards the athletes betterment. So disgusting.
Spot on Hayden Walcott
Money has spoiled our society
Have you seen what goes on in Jamaica from school athletics? In additoon, do we look at diet in T&T? Our staple is FFD, Fast Food Diet. Ask out athletes when last anyone of them had yam. You know the answer .. “wha is dat?”
Jamaica loves Jamaica.
I agree 100%
Jamaica is a sports crazy nation with crowd support. Money is not their God. Citizens give back.
Whilst i understand what you say and agree to an extent, Jamaicans have a high degree of Patriotism which translates in their success in every strata of their society.
The public in Trinidad only talk sport but no support for our sports practitioners by the society. The average Jamican support their athletes by paying to attend the events, private secter companies support at all times. Their stadium is sold out for secondary schools track and field, junior and senior championships. They are great, not because of government support but support from the wider Jamican society. Every track meet in Trinidad has the same 200 track fans plus the athletes family. The same is true for all sports in this Trinidad. So Trinidad things will not change until you stop doing what you do love to do, talk, blame the government, and not yourself.
Thank you for setting the record straight. Well said
Where were you all the time Hayden?
The people criticizing probably never saw a discus or a javelin.
Critics we need you at the Games then and only then you can criticize and be taken seriously.
Change the change
GO to the head of the class.
Kenna look the gospel here!
Amen Ppl feel jamaica pumps a whole lot of money into track…its their culture
Well I don’t know the ages of the people on this thread, however, there was a time when “Games” were well attended throughout the country. People travelled the length and breadth of Trinidad and Tobago to attend sports meets. Cycling in Arima and San Fernando, Athletics in Arima, Tunapuna, Port of Spain, San Fernando and Palo Seco to name a few. Football in villages and towns alike. I’m not sure what happened with the current generation but they now look at sporting events in Sports Bars. Of course these local events are not televised.
Trinidad culture to local sports these days is if it not free, doh have a/c, doh have free food or alcohol they not coming out.
We will never be able to match the Jamaicans if we continue doing what we are doing and expecting different results. I have always observed the performance of our Caribbean athletes at these meets, and the Jamaicans and to some extent the Bahamians have stood head and shoulders above all else. It is a joy to watch their superb technique and the flawless execution in any event in which they compete. I understand the young man’s cry and empathize with him, however Government support which means MONEY, is not the sole answer to our failings. Trinidad and Tobago per population, has no less raw natural talent than Jamaica or the Bahamas for that matter, they also have always had less money available to spend as countries than Trinidad and Tobago. What they have always had in good times and bad, are NATIONAL ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATIONS, well organized, committed, professional in approach and dedicated to developing available young talent and preparing them for the world stage. In addition to this sound base, they have been able to develop and fine tune SUPERIOR systems which have evolved into the current conveyor belts producing HIGH QUALITY athletes. In Trinidad and Tobago we are rich in raw natural talent some of which have been able to break through, in spite of generations of self serving administrations literally bouncing down the athletes for PHOTO SHOOT opportunities, availability of Government Financing as is with everything else in our country, means a lot of MONEY to be SPENT. The question remains however BY WHOM? AND ON WHOM OR WHAT? This is a NATIONAL MALAISE which is present in every institution and strata of our society, it is also one which will get increasingly worse until we as a people, collectively decide ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! . Until such time we will continue to witness the hit and miss successes of our young talent people who deserve much, much better.