Mon | Jun 14, 2021

Work collectively to nurture student athletes

Published:Monday | May 17, 2021 | 12:07 AM


I am writing this open letter to high school recruiters. There have been great performances once again at this year’s ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championships. Thank you for the opportunities you have provided for young people across Jamaica, the Caribbean, Africa and the world. Providing students with opportunities to receive scholarships is always appreciated.

Since the goal is always to provide these opportunities, which coach would not want to see their best athletes being strongly encouraged to have access to and train in better facilities? After all, not all schools can provide this quality of support since they do not have resources and funding, or a strong old students association supporting them.

I think pooling resources for the athletes is the best way to help our struggling schools. They have one less student to worry about and invest in, which is brilliant. I must also express thanks to our top schools for taking on the heavy burden of providing these chances for needy, talented students. I can only imagine the joy our old boys feel seeing these “newly minted” traditional high school students perform.

Athletics has been a tool to uplift people out of poverty for centuries, so it is nice to see our magnanimous old boys continuing poverty-alleviation strategies. Perhaps the government can take note.

I, for one, enjoyed the explosive performances of our youth athletes. Indeed, their work exceeds all expectations. I was wondering, however, about what happened to the athletes that were good, but not as good. I did not hear from them this week and I wanted to know where can I add them to the missing persons list. With COVID-19 upon us, it is always good to check up on our other athletes who colleges overseas might not have been seen at Champs.

Also, while we are it, I think we should invest in a new insurance policy for our lesser-known athletes. It is good to provide support for all of our students. How about pursuing academics as an insurance policy? Well, maybe not pure academics since it is said that not everyone can do it. However, we can have some students receive remedial support in areas such as spelling and pronunciation.

Our athletes have worked so hard and missing many classes is, unfortunately, a necessary sacrifice for being seen in the line-up at Champs. I propose we can provide these students with some remedial support since schools could be doing so much more. Not everyone can be a scholar, so I must thank you for building athletes.