Tue | May 30, 2023

‘I decided my fate’

Mothersille, women in sport say breaking barriers takes work

Published:Wednesday | March 8, 2023 | 1:28 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
General Secretary of the Cayman Athletics Association Cydonie Mothersille speaks during the Yardie Sports, women in Sports Conference at Four Seasons Hotel recently.
General Secretary of the Cayman Athletics Association Cydonie Mothersille speaks during the Yardie Sports, women in Sports Conference at Four Seasons Hotel recently.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 100-metre bronze medallist Cydonie Mothersille has a message for women who get involved in sport at all levels.

According to the general secretary of the Cayman Athletics Association, in whatever arena a woman chooses to enter, she has to first believe in herself, then she has to prepare for those roles she takes on.

Mothersille was speaking at a recent Women in Sport conference at Hotel Four Seasons, where a number of distinguished presenters, athletes and administrators, spoke of their journey in sports and their challenges in ‘breaking barriers’ – the theme of the conference – in a male-dominated industry.

According to Mothersille, women in sports have to value themselves and be prepared for future roles that might interest them.

“Women in sports have to believe in ourselves. We have to be prepared. We cannot want to be in a role and not prepare to be in that role.

“You have to want it. You have to earn it and when that opportunity comes along, you can put your hand up and say ‘yes’,” she said.

She also pointed that placing a value on one’s worth is equally important and that ambitious women should be in charge of their identities, despite or in spite of what others think.

“I believed I have a value and no one could tell me, regardless of who I was in a race with, regardless of if I finished last and regardless of if I didn’t get a medal.

“I decided my fate. I decided if I should continue or step aside. So that is what women have to decide. You have to decide your worth. You have to decide when you are ready to step up to the plate. But you must bring value to whatever sport that you are in. And for me that was sports administration,” she said.

World Championships triple-jump silver medallist, Shanieka Ricketts, noted that choices determine one’s destination, and encouraged others to be brave and not let fear cloud their decisions.


“Life is all about choices and the choices we make determine our direction and the standard of life that we attain. People are not willing to make temporary sacrifices to achieve permanent results. It doesn’t matter which field you are in, you cannot skip the process,” said Ricketts.

According to Ricketts, women have to endure hardships and difficult situations with a positive attitude at all times if they are to succeed.

However, sometimes fear of failure or rejection deter many persons from their dreams, she noted.

“Fear is just a means of stopping you from going for what you want. It takes courage to be successful and courage to be yourself. It takes courage to do something that has never been done before and it takes courage to not turn off from your dreams even when things are not going the way you want them [to]. There is nothing you can’t accomplish when you put your mind to it,” she stated.

Reggae Girlz team manager, Crystal Walters, who was thrust into the job unexpectedly in 2021, said women must be prepared for opportunities and be ready to serve.

“Once that call comes you have to be ready. You have to be prepared. I was thrown into the deep ocean and I took the offer. But I am always on my p’s and q’s and I always give a hundred per cent,” said Walters.

Like Mothersille, Walters also believes it important for women to believe in yourself.

“Failure is an option. All the negatives that I have faced as a woman I have use that to step higher

“I use it to embrace me as a woman on my journey. So there is power in believing in the person you are and the person you want to be,” she said.

Sunshine Girl, Shanice Beckford, added that the role of women in today’s working world is more important than ever, and that women have worked hard to make history in male-dominated industries.

However, despite all the accomplishments she said there were still lingering connotations for women in sports.

“Women are continuing to break barriers in all aspects of sports, and a number of people are beginning to recognise that sport would be very different without females participating.

“But there is still a challenge for women in the sporting arena, that stigma that women aren’t capable. But I say we are capable of anything and Jamaica has produced a few high achievers in this regard,” she noted.