Tokyo Olympics – Petty, Partisan, Political Behaviour Stunting Youth Development

Minister of Sports - Dwight Sutherland

Congratulations to the government of Tokyo and others for being able to execute one of the largest global events on the events calendar during a pandemic. It was an opportunity again for humankind to demonstrate what separates us from the rest.

Man is the only animal that strives to be more than he is…it is the indomitable spirit within that makes him human.

Steven Lang

Barbadians although happy to support the 8 member team selected to attend the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – special mention to Sada Williams who missed out on qualifying for the 400m final by the narrowest of margins – there was the disappointment of not being able to experience the euphoria of a podium finish. The every four year post evaluation will now take place with the usual mouthings from government and supporting bodies to suggest they will work to ensure local athletes are ready for the Paris Olympics in 2024. 

The obvious question Barbadians on the street always ask is why Jamaica, Trinidad, Bahamas, Grenada and a few other regional countries continue to produce podium ready athletes. A visit to those islands to see the stadia gives a first clue. In the same way a tradesman needs the right tools to satisfactorily complete the job, athletes need adequate facilities and ancillary support to be able to deliver and sustain top performances. The local national stadium is a sight for sore eyes and an embarrassment all Barbadians should share. When current and aspiring athletes have to attend or perform at the local stadium, it cannot be a positive physical or mental exercise. How many times have NAPSAC and BSSAC events had to be relocated to ‘cow pastures’ or cancelled in recent years because of the unavailability of the national stadium? What has been the long term effect of those decisions?

We wonder why there is growing cynicism and apathy shown by Barbadians? For as long as the blogmaster can recall both administrations – DLP and BLP – have given lip service to supporting sports in a meaningful way. The sports ministry is almost always attached to the most junior minister in the Cabinet. Case in point Minister Dwight Sutherland, before him John King. From time to time the BU family has joined others to inquire about the development and implementation of a relevant National Youth Development Strategic Plan

The other challenge worthy of mention is the ‘professional’ sports administrators- a small group of individuals who are recycled at the various sporting associations, Barbados Olympic Association, Barbados Football Association, Barbados Cricket Association, Amateur Athletic Association and others, engaging in questionable transactions and behaviour with zero accountability. In the same way members of the political class close ranks to protect their own, so too sports officials in Barbados. The blogmaster has unsuccessfully reached out to several of them to encourage a blowing of the whistle on unethical and possibly illegal behaviour. Our athletes struggle to deliver world class performances, no fault of theirs but the administrators continue to enjoy the travel per diem, accommodation at 4 and 5 star hotels and other perks attached to roles. Enough already with the retort that administrators are volunteers.

The government and NGO bodies responsible cannot be serious about developing the potential of our young people and continue to commit inadequate resources to a relevant sports program. The benefits of developing such a program operating under the umbrella of a National Youth Development Strategic Plan are well documented. If we do not create an outlet for our young people to channel talent, it will give rise to problematic behaviours. Although there is opportunity for some to gain from athletic scholarships overseas, the majority will benefit from positive lifestyle choices and interpersonal relationships. It is a win win for the quality of society.

Despite challenging economic times government should commit to proportionately carving 100k from respective budget heads in the next appropriation exercise. Leading sports associations should commit to zero travel and 50% reduction of per diem to be reallocated to DIRECTLY support to the athletes. This is a simple suggestion to ram home the point that we we are doing is not working.

Our young people are no different to those from other countries, what separates them is the lack of opportunities created for them by the establishment. We continue to fail them. We prefer to engage in petty, partisan, political behaviour while the leaders of tomorrow are not prioritized.

152 comments

  • @ Donna,
    To have a national record that stood nigh on for 50 years was astonishing. Especially when one factors in an increase of food supplies, an increase in height, access to superior facilities, superior competition, etc. Perhaps our athletes have struggled to get out of their beds to train.

    You seem to forget that our national records are inferior to the vast majority of regional records

    I do not need to do any research on longevity of records. Please Donna, we should not be excusing rank failures. I am not talking about those who competed in the Olympics. I am referring to those who were left at home.

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  • Bunch o’ ordinary old farts!

    They cry down the young people when they sell drugs and shoot people.

    They cry down the young people when they reach a semi-final at the Olympics!

    ##@@%$*&^@€£₩¥!

    I cannot find the words!

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  • Barbados should build a couple of large indoor stadiums that could also be used to use people during hurricane season emergencies.

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  • Sincere Apologies

    I forgot to put the ho in the house

    “… used to house people during hurricane season emergencies.”

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  • David,

    You right, man! I dun!

    Like

  • RE The secret of Jamaica’s athletic successes? CHAMPS
    https://worldathletics.org/news/feature/boys-girls-champs-jamaica-zharnel-hughes-issa
    BOVINE EXCREMENT
    THEY GOT “CHAMPS” IN EVERY ISLAND
    WE GOT CHAMPS TOO……..IT IS JUST THAT WE DONT PRODUCE ANY OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS UH LIE?
    AND THIS CAN NOT BE REFUTED

    DEAREST DARLING DONNA
    RE Imagine a young person reaches a semi-final at the Olympics and these shitehounds call her lazy and lacking in discipline!
    TELL YA THE TRUTH I ENJOY SOME FOLK LIKE THEY RUNNING BACKWARDS IN THIER DISCIPLINES WITH GREAT DISCIPLINE.
    E.G THE TRINIDADIAN 4X 400 RELAY TEAM

    No wonder the young people do not pay your old asses any mind.

    METHINKS THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE LACKING

    If I were Sada, I would cuss wunnuh the worst way.
    AND HOW WOULD THAT HELP HER TO ADVANCE/
    PEOPLE DOES CUSS AND PULL DOWN HEY PUN BU EVERYDAY. WHERE DO THIS GET US? HOW DOES THIS HELP US TO IMPROVE?

    And what do obese women have to do with the athletes we are discussing???????
    WELL OBESE WOMEN CANT RUN TOO FAST OR TOO FAR
    MAYBE THEY SHOULD DO THE SHOT PUT OR HAMMER THROW ETC LOL LOL
    I SEE REAL BIG MEN GETTING THE MEDALS IN THESE EVENTS. HINT HINT HINT LOL LOL

    INSTEAD OF SEEKING OLYMPIC MEDALS AND GLORY WHICH WILL ALL TARNISH AND FADE AWAY PERHAPS WE SHOULD BE SEEKING A “MORE ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY” . INSTEAD OF SEEKING TO STAND ON THE PODIUM AY THE OLYMPICS PERHAPS WE SHOULD BE SEEKING AND DISCUSSING STANDING WITH THE ELDERS AT THE GLASSY SEA WITH A MULTITUDE WHICH NO ONE CAN NUMBER AS DESCRIBED IN REVELATION CJAPTER 5.

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  • @ GP,
    This thread is a metaphor for our sickly nation.
    To offer construction criticism or to speak the truth is never appreciated by some.

    The lack and the neglect of not having a sporting culture and an adequate sport’s infrastructure is an absolute national disgrace. Respective governments have propped up the tourist industry and some prominent minority business communities whilst heavily under investing in public sport institutions for their very own people. What a bunch of short sighted idiots.

    The cudhear mentality or bringing raw emotion to this debate will not elevate the performance or the mentalities of our Athletes. Especially when they have to perform against hungry, lean, mean and muscle bound Jamaican athletes who do not eat with their eyes. These people are serious about what they consume and treat their bodies like a temple.

    Until recently Chinese and Japanese sprinters produced lightweight performances. Not anymore. Some of these guys are now attaining times around the 10 second barrier: with one or two a fraction below this mark. Not enough to win a medal but highlights what progress they have made.

    Most Bajans cannot even do a time of 10:15. What are the Japanese and the Chinese doing different from us. I believe in the last Olympics a Kenyan male won the javelin. Perhaps he may have been a hunter, however Kenyans have no throwing pedigree; they are runners.

    Our problem is simple. Life may be progressively more difficult in Barbados, however it is an easy sweet life. To survive in Barbados you do not need much and besides has anybody ever passed away mal-nourished in our country.

    P.S. I believe we have a few decent squash and chess players.

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  • RE Until recently Chinese and Japanese sprinters produced lightweight performances. Not anymore. Some of these guys are now attaining times around the 10 second barrier: with one or two a fraction below this mark. Not enough to win a medal but highlights what progress they have made.

    THE REASON FOR THIS IS THAT THEY PRACTICE
    THEY ARE PAID TO / OR AND FORCED TO PRACTICE
    BUT THEY MIGHT NOT EVER BECOME WORLD BEATERS AT RUNNING, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE REQUISITE TYPE MUSCLE FIBERS

    THE JAMAICANS DONT EAT NUTTIN SPECIAL MAN….JAMAICANS ARE SUPERB SPRINTERS MAINLY BECAUSE THEY THEY ARE ENDOWNED WITH THE NECESSARY FAST TWITCH FIBERS. VERY SIMPLE BIOCHEMISTRY FACTS

    THE KENYANS HAVE THE SLOW TWITCH MUSCLE FIBERS REQUIRED FOR SUSTAINED PERFORMANCE, HENCE THEIR DOMINANCE IN LONG DISTANCE RACES VERY SIMPLE BIOCHEMISTRY FACTS

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  • William Skinner

    @all
    In the midst of all this baloney about how poorly our athletes are doing , when in fact, they are competing creditably on the world stage, we seem to have forgotten that we have produced the greatest all rounder cricketer and nobody has come close to even matching his skills on the cricket field. Sir Garry therefore remains our most successful sportsman to date.
    BTW, let’s give Rihana all the credit that she richly deserves. To her credit she has evolved into a extremely successful world class high powered entertainer and business person.
    However, she is indeed no different from Michael Jordan and others , who are really the prime examples of the USA corporate sport / entertainment complex. In other words it is pure nonsense to suggest that any local entertainer can amass what she has done depending on exclusive local branding., sales etc. She has demonstrated what can be achieved by modern progressive grooming and opportunity. In short she is a genius in my book!
    If I were an athlete and had read the garbage written here and elsewhere after I bust my tail to qualify and comptete for my country , I would have serious problems speaking to anybody again. Knowing full well that if I had won a gold medal all yuh so would have been jumping up like if wunnuh had won um.
    But that’s who we are. Frigging pailing cocks!

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  • MAN IF YOU AINT GOT IT YA AINT GOT IT AND YA DOES SEEM TO BE RUNNING BACKWARDS UNDER HIGH CLASS COMPETITION. SOMETIMES YA BEST IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE COMPETITION

    AT MED SCHOOL I HAVE SEEN MEN COMING OUT OF RC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN T &T WITH A’S AT A LEVEL BECAUSE THEY JUST HAD TO REGURGITATE EXCELLENT NOTES PREPARED BY :”FATHER”; WHO AT MONA FOUND THEIR NAMES DOWN NEAR THE LIST OF MARKS FOLLOWING THE FIRST REAL EXAM

    DONT CARE HOW GOOD YA IS OR TINK YA IS DEY GOT FOLK BETTER DAN YOU.
    I LEARNED THAT EARLY AT AGE 10 WHEN I WAS SENT TO HC.
    THE HIGHER YA GO THE MORE MARKEDLY SUCH KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES ARE REVEALED

    NOT ONLY IN RUNNING EVENTS AT THE OLYMPICS RACE HORSES DOES LOOK LIKE THEY RUNNING BACKWARDS TOO. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Milrose Games are held in NY annually. I seem to recall a team of Jamaican school children participate every year..

    A brand new stadium might not be able to replace the competition, experience or learning gained at such a meet.

    https://www.millrosegames.org/news/2017/12/19/asafa-powell-leads-strong-jamaican-contingent-at-nyrr-millrose-games-g3atp

    I am quite certain that one can find Bajans who will host and transport talented youngsters to the meet. We may even accomodate a relative of the youngster (all free of charge)

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  • Why are you locked on the single point of a new stadium? Have you seen the existing?

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  • I have not been home in ages.

    I am not locked on a new stadium.

    However, I believe the talk of a new stadium and the quest for a gold medal through track and field events are the same thing. Given advances in the rest of the world and our current state, this quest may not be a profitable exercise. I want us to consider exploring other avenues than track and field.

    I want to show that exposing their athletes to high level international competition is a part of the quest for excellence in Jamaica.

    I wish to point out that some in the Diaspora may be willing to open their homes to talented athletes and a guardian so that the athletes are exposed to a higher level of competition.

    I also wish to point out that a new stadium is throwing money, which we do not have, at the problem. (Back at the stadium)

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  • Pictures of the stadium were posted to BU in earlier blogs.

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  • Man, Bajans have hosted and transported young people for various reasons.

    Without fanfare!

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  • She would feel a whole lot better! That’s what cussing can do.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    I am really not perturb about us not winning medals at international competition. It is understandable that as human beings and a nation we yearn for recognition, attention and glory. We look at the accomplishments of our peers with envious eyes, believing we should able to copy that achievement. However, it isn’t as simple as that. Richer and more populous nations than us leave Tokyo with no medals.

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  • That notwithstanding, there is much room for improvement based on current state.

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  • “If I were an athlete and had read the garbage written here and elsewhere after I bust my tail to qualify and compete for my country , I would have serious problems speaking to anybody again. Knowing full well that if I had won a gold medal all yuh so would have been jumping up like if wunnuh had won um.”

    One could look at it as if we were incentivising the youth to do better in the future.

    To be serious, to attend the Olympics as a competitor is a great achievement. We should applaud their effort.

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  • “….JAMAICANS ARE SUPERB SPRINTERS MAINLY BECAUSE THEY THEY ARE ENDOWNED WITH THE NECESSARY FAST TWITCH FIBERS. VERY SIMPLE BIOCHEMISTRY FACTS

    THE KENYANS HAVE THE SLOW TWITCH MUSCLE FIBERS REQUIRED FOR SUSTAINED PERFORMANCE, HENCE THEIR DOMINANCE IN LONG DISTANCE RACES VERY SIMPLE BIOCHEMISTRY FACTS”

    @ Dr Know It All
    Everyone has fast twitch and slow twitch fibres that can be strengthened with daily gradual practise
    When you go to Kenya you see everyone everywhere running and cycling long distances in high altitude with less oxygen in the air

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  • @William Skinner August 8, 2021 9:01 AM “I’ll bet a million dollars that if we had won one medal, those who refuse to rebuild the national stadium would be at the airport taking all the credit. And I mean from both the Dees and the Bees.”

    I second that.

    Our young athletes and their dedicated coaches need practical help.

    About 15 years ago I was often at the stadium on evenings with a young athlete, many of them had to take the bus home after practice, sometimes 2 buses. Some walked a mile or more home after a long day at school, and a long evening of practice at the stadium, and still homework to be done on reaching home. In the meantime a bus, donated I believe by the IOC sat in a parking lot at Wildey. Once my own young athlete was made to pay busfare, because “free” that is tax-funded busfares for students ends at 7 pm, and the transport board driver at the busstop close to the stadium rigidly enforced the 7.pm rule just as though the youngster had been liming in town. It is 7:05 you are still in school uniform then you must pay. Of course some of the athletes become discouraged. It is truly amazing that some have the courage to continue.

    The two youngsters to whom I was close have gone on to do excellent work at their respective universities, but local support is shamefully lacking.

    Please note that this in not a criticism of the young athletes nor of coaches whom I found to be amazingly dedicated.

    Of course the track at the new Usain Bolt stadium does not meet Olympic standard–not long enough.

    Officialdom–they know who they are–need to listen to the coaches and to the athletes. My impression is that there are too many seat warming, status seeking officials, and not enough people with a passion for sport and for youth development.

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  • @David “but the administrators continue to enjoy the travel per diem, accommodation at 4 and 5 star hotels and other perks attached to roles.”

    I hadn’t even read this when I wrote my piece.

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  • @Donna August 9, 2021 6:14 AM “Bunch o’ ordinary old farts! ##@@%$*&^@€£₩¥!”

    I second this.

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  • Advice to Bajans (co·mor·bid·i·ty champions)

    if everyone made the effort to be fit with daily practise of 1-2 hours
    and fittest of the fittest youths in their bprime condition competed for athletic selection
    there would be more world class champions like Jamaicans

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  • fortyacresandamule

    Even In Kenya and Ethiopia most of their the athletic champions come from a certain tribe and region. In other words your average Kenyans are not potential world class beaters.

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  • @ TLSN August 8, 2021 1:42 PM “All of our problems are structural. Has anybody seen the trajectory in the financial growth and the marketing of Mount Gay rum since the French took possession of it?”

    And since the French had the good sense to hire on MERIT a black, female Bajan master blender…instead of one of the old boys “who went school wid dem”

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  • I wonder how many of the BU boys would have hired on MERIT a young, black Bajan woman?

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. I would rather have economic prosperity and glory for
    my people than sporting glory and poverty. And winning medals at international sporting competition, just add icing on the cake. I am sure Singaporeans are not beating themselves over their poor showing in Tokyo.

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  • Andre De Grasse was born in Scarborough, Ontario.His mother, Beverley De Grasse, was a high school sprinter in Trinidad and Tobago before she moved to Canada at age 26.His father, Alexander Waithe, moved from BARBADOS to Canada as a teenager.

    Maybe we can claim Andre. He is certainly, like many, many of my nieces and nephews a Bajan by descent. Some of them are Bajans at heart. A couple of them visiting with me right now and working remotely. I am enjoying their company.

    Alexander Waithe died recently.

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  • Andre De Grasse (born November 10, 1994) is a Canadian sprinter. A six-time Olympic medallist, De Grasse is the reigning Olympic champion in the 200 m and also won the silver in the 200 m in Rio in 2016. He also has four Olympic bronze medals, placing third in the 100 m in both the 2016 and 2020 games, as well as placing third in the 4×100 m relay in 2016 and 2020.
    He was the double Pan American champion and the NCAA champion in the 100 m and 200 m. De Grasse won the bronze in the 100 m and the 4 × 100 m relay at the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing. He also won the bronze in the 100 m and the silver in the 200 m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. He is the current Canadian record holder in the 200m, running a 19.62 in Tokyo, making him the eighth fastest man in history in the 200.

    The Bajan men on here piss parading, so lemme ask wunna a question

    What positive influence if any did the Bajan father have with this superb athlete?

    And lemme ask the BU men, were it not for his Trinidadian mother would he be a star athlete?

    I await your responses.

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  • RE To be serious, to attend the Olympics as a competitor is a great achievement. We should applaud their effort.

    To be serious, I AM SURE THAT THERE ARE MANY OTHER THINGS THAT ARE ALSO GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS THAT WE SHOULD ALSO APPLAUD ,, BUT WE DENIGRATE AND PULL DOWN DAILY
    HILARIOUS
    AFTER THIS BULL SHIT ARTICLE TODAY IN 2024 OUR AFFLETES WILL BE RUNNING BACKWARDS DE SAME WAY AS IN 2021
    AND THE BU BARKERS AND BRAYERS WILL STILL BE STILL DENIGRATING AND PULLING DOWN

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  • @GP August 8, 2021 2:36 PM “THE CURRENT DECLINE OF OUR NATION IS MOST LIKELY DUE TO DEFICIENCIES IN OUR MOTHERS WHO ARE NOW MOSTLY CARREER WOMEN, AND THE LACK OF PROPER EXPERIENCED GRANDMNOTHERS.”

    It could be father absence too.

    After all if both fathers and mothers are doing their jobs, there is precious little left for grandmothers to do.

    And what about grandfathers? How come they NEVER seem to get a mention? Are they all useless then?

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  • @lawson
    A young athlete that I know of, chased the phone snatcher straight home and took back her phone from him. Then reported the matter to the police. Since he was young and foolish he was reprimanded and discharged. He straightened up and when he meets the not so young anymore gal in ‘town he thanks her for saving him from a life of crime. He has since confessed that he though that the young gal was going to kill him.

    It is a pity that you let your phone go so easily.

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  • Now Sweet Sunday Sermon has kicked the bucket BU should have a Mellow Monday Musings thread

    The Book of Revelations is not the end of the world but is the end of the Bible and people can stop reading it.

    Rihanna and Bolt became known for being top of their game.

    Rihanna was like Madonna who out shone all other lady singers but in the Hip Hop tradition eventually matured into a business brand.

    “In other words your average Kenyans are not potential world class beaters.”

    Those who run walk and cycle long distances everyday are fitter than those that don’t. It’s all relative.

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  • More Mellow Monday Musings
    Privatised profits for prisons is the new slavery

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  • In 2002 CAC Games in Barbados did any of you attend to cheer the unknown 15 year old Jamaican lad Usain Bolt on.

    No???

    Why not???

    At the Summer Olympics in 2004..he failed to even make it out of his heat in the 200-meter dash.

    But he took the Olympics by storm in 2008 at the Summer Games in Beijing. That year, he won gold medals in both the 100m and 200m sprint.

    What support are any of wunna offering to our 15 year old athletes NOW??? Busfare? Lunch money? Transportation home after practice? A glass of water? Track shoes? A math or English lessons teacher?

    Nothing???

    A lotta long talk???

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  • Come to the Cool Church
    the DJ plays Hip Hop

    Higher

    You keep taking me higher, higher (Yeah)
    But don’t you know that the devil is a liar? (I know)
    They’d rather see me down, put my soul in the fire
    But we keep goin’ higher, higher

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPC9VID6M9s

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  • Becoming best is an everyday process of becoming better

    #TheMindsetOfAWinner #Motiversity #KobeBryant

    THE MINDSET OF A WINNER | Kobe Bryant Champions Advice

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  • Adara breaks 16-year swim record
    SEVERAL YOUNG and emerging swimmers performed creditably in the National Long Course Championship, which ended on Sunday at the Aquatic Centre of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
    Adara Stoddard was one of them, breaking the 16-year-old national record in the 15-17 Girls’ 100 metres breaststroke on the final day.
    Stoddard clocked one minute, 17.71 seconds, shaving 0.38 seconds off the mark set by Alexis Jordan.
    Early gift
    It was an early birthday gift for the Christ Church Foundation School student, who turned 16 yesterday.
    The talented teen finished the meet with five gold medals, but she was pipped by Danielle Treasure for the Most Outstanding Senior Female Swimmer at the meet.
    (AR)

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  • Good morning,
    I am in a good mood but feeling devilish..
    How do you break a 16-year old record get five gold medals and not be the “Most Outstanding Senior Female”? Is she considered a Junior??

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  • Aren’t Kobe Bryant and his daughter not both dead, dead, dead.

    Isn’t it true that perhaps neither he, nor his daughter, nor seven others would be dead if he wasn’t so super-competitive that he seemed to believe that he could compete successfully against bad weather.

    We all have to learn to accept limitations, even “winners” like Kobe Bryant.

    Mother Nature has a million ways to ensure that we comply with established limitations, or else…

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  • Freida: Reset Olympic goals

    Aim should be to win a medal, says Olympian
    by NICK MAITLAND
    nickmaitland@nationnews.com
    TWO-TIME OLYMPIAN and sports administrator Freida Nicholls-Davy is optimistic for Barbados’ sporting future but suggested a more conscientious plan must be implemented to experience success on the world stage.
    Nicholls-Davy, a former sprinter and national record-holder in the 100 metres, was complimentary of Barbados’ performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but cautioned stakeholders to be realistic about their goals and the way forward for our Olympians.
    “I agree our athletes performed well but we have to ask ourselves, what were the realistic expectations that anyone had of this team,” said Nicholls-Davy, who was one of the first females to represent the island at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
    “I think they performed creditably. Two new national records were set and three team members advanced to the semi-finals of their events.
    “I think we have to look across the board at the improvement of many countries, especially the smaller ones, and make sure that our goals and objectives are reset and focused on Paris 2024.”
    She also outlined a plan for sporting bodies to undertake in their pursuit of success and recognition on the world stage, especially at the next Olympic Games.
    “I do not know what structure the federations or the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) has in place but from my perspective, there needs to be a three-year plan for Paris 2024 which we should be working on from now,” she explained.
    “That three-year plan should include training requirements, medical and physiotherapist support, living and sustenance support, a full competition schedule with its associated costs and access to a sports psychologist.
    “Also, we must from now identify your potential athletes for 2024. We should be able to determine who those potential people are. Once we have done that and organised a three-year plan, those are the first two steps.”
    Nicholls-Davy, who served the Amateur Athletics Association of Barbados (AAB) for more than 30 years as secretary, public relations officer and vice-president, further explained that the resetting and accomplishing of Barbados’ sporting goals must begin with in-depth talks between the BOA, the Government, and the private sector.
    “The BOA has to sit with the Government to have a business meeting with the Minister of Sport and the relevant Government entities. Then you engage the private sector with an explanation of what is required to get the next group to Paris,” she outlined.
    Marketing budgets
    “This is so the private
    sector understands what goes into it and then with that information, they will be able to link their marketing budget to the sports requirements and determine what areas they could be involved in.
    “Unfortunately, we have been saying these things and having these conversations after every Olympiad for the last 50 years and I can attest to that.”
    She asserted that as the Olympic pressure mounts on Barbadian athletes with every passing year, more needs to be done to provide sporting facilities of a high standard, which is a basic precursor of sporting success, especially in smaller developing nations.
    “The objective should be to win an Olympic medal no matter how unrealistic that might seem. In making that your objective, it gives you the confidence and determination to go through the steps of qualification, the heats, semi-finals and final of your event,” she said.
    “We have to move with haste to get the National Stadium back up and running by the end of this year and certainly for the next season.
    “If we are talking development, you are not just talking the National Stadium but all the National Sports Council venues across Barbados.
    “I know we had setbacks with COVID-19 and with other things, but those sporting facilities have to be fast-tracked and moved into the focus of the Ministry of Sport as well as the Ministry of Finance.”


    Source: Nation

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  • Sada can do something great if . . .

    I NOTE THAT Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley was among those praising the performances of our representatives at the Tokyo Olympics.
    She would have seen first-hand that there is great talent here that we need to harness and support to make them world-beaters.
    In fact, she is supremely placed as Minister of Finance to recommend the use of money from the public purse to assist our athletes in their quest to compete and not only participate at major games.
    Sada Williams’ brave run in the semi-finals of the 400 metres symbolised what our elite athletes are capable of and can achieve with a lot more help from the state and others with a genuine interest in national development.
    Williams, in breaking the national record, just missed out on making the final. It was said that her time was the fastest ever not to reach an Olympic final in the women’s 400. It proved that once she stays fit, she can be on the threshold of doing something special.
    She has been unfortunate with injuries in the past five years and it is felt that but for misfortune, she might have been challenging for medals at global events by now.
    There is still time for this to happen, so it is vital that she and others who show potential consistently be given the assistance that will help them to excel.
    It should start with Government because they are like the parents, providing enough to feed and nourish the children. Of course, parents may not always be in a position to support the family in the best way possible for various reasons but can seek external help to boost their intentions.
    Investing in the youth
    In the sporting instance, it mightn’t be possible either to find too many fairy godfathers so it will require bi-partisan relationships to facilitate what we want to achieve as a nation from our athletes. I believe it can only happen if we buy into the significance of investing in the talent of our youth.
    If we continue to view our athletes as making sport at sports, it defeats the whole process of trying to make them better. A tree needs to be well watered to have a chance to be fruitful. Talent alone won’t get sportsmen and women on the podium.
    We have to be more strategic in our planning to get the best from them. We can’t fight a nuclear war with bows and arrows. Realistically, that’s what we have been doing but we need an urgent upgrade to place us on a level battlefield.
    Athletes have to make sacrifices and still be in a place of comfort regarding their daily bread in order to move to another level. These are the kind of provisions that are needed to keep them focused on the prize they are pursuing.
    I said in a previous column that Government could ask the private sector and other interested parties to match whatever they give in assistance or for companies to adopt an athlete for a minimum of four years, which is the normal cycle in the build-up to the Olympics.
    I suppose it might be easier for Government to offer incentives to its partners to encourage them to play a part in what I am proposing.
    Big price tag
    If our athletes show they
    are thinking big and are willing to put in the hard work, there is no way we can short-change them. Winning at the highest level comes with a big price tag. We see, too, what pride countries take in getting on the podium.
    Kirani James spoke recently about the hundreds of inquiries made about Grenada after he won the 400 metres gold at the 2012 London Olympics as an 18-year-old. Small countries, in particular, can’t pay for that kind of advertisement.
    We in Barbados have to take that leap of faith and show confidence in those whom we recognise as needing an extra push to reach the next level.
    There has been too much long talk in the past about the benefits that can be gained through sports and how much money can be made from sports tourism and so on but we remain tardy in backing it up with substantial action.
    I challenge all local entities with the resources to come together and be the possible difference in having our athletes leave big events with something tangible to show.
    We did extremely well to produce three semi-finalists in their respective disciplines in Tokyo. They and others will dream of doing better in Paris in three years.
    What say ye about giving them the opportunity to make dreams come true by giving them much more support in pursuit of that dream?
    What say you, Prime Minister?
    Andi Thornhil is an award-winning, experienced freelance sports journalist. Email: andithornhill1@gmail.com


    Source: Nation

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  • Lack of facilities ‘a hurdle’

    By Anmar Goodridge-Boyce
    anmargoodridge-boyce@nationnews.com
    The lack of sporting facilities on the island is proving to be a major hurdle, hindering Barbados’ participation on the global stage.
    President of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), Sandra Osborne, says the ongoing issue is just one of many factors contributing to the small number of athletes qualifying for the world’s biggest sports competitions.
    “You don’t produce the best athletes without facilities, and that is an area in which we have had a bit of a challenge in. I think that until we can get a good handle on that so that they are enough athletes coming through the pipelines who have access to good facilities and good coaching, you will always have small numbers,” Osborne told Weekend Sport yesterday during a telephone interview.
    Her comments came in the wake of the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where Barbados was represented by eight competitors: two swimmers and six track athletes.
    The BOA head said it would be ideal to have greater numbers and more sporting disciplines at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
    ‘Very close’
    “We came very close in surfing, boxing, judo and shooting. I think it would be a tremendous achievement if we were to have athletes from a wider range of disciplines or sports qualify. I look forward to that. In the past we had sports other than swimming and athletics, and I would certainly like us to get back to that so we can show some depth,” Osborne said.
    Track and field has had the largest representation with 62 competitors in 13 appearances by Barbados at Olympic Games, going back to 1968 in Mexico City.
    “Our greatest success has been athletics – there is no question about it and that is always going to be at the core part of the team. The point is there are other athletes out there who have done extremely well and just missed the qualifying target or the opportunity to gain a universality place.”
    Semi-finalists
    Quarter-milers Jonathan Jones and Sada Williams, along with 400-metre hurdler Tia-Adana Belle, reached the semi-final rounds of their events at the Tokyo 2020 Games, which Osborne said is a major improvement from Rio 2016.
    “We are overall satisfied with the performance of our team. I think when you look at it as a whole, comparing to Rio, we have improved. I think we are moving in the right direction. I am not going to get into the details of the individual performances but, in general terms, from the BOA perspective, we are happy. I think one has to be realistic about expectations. We were very happy with what we saw out there,” she said.
    Osborne also reiterated
    that the BOA is committed to continue funding the island’s best athletes.
    “We make a considerable investment in athletes and at the appropriate time we will give more information on it,” she said.
    Last year, the BOA implemented a new funding model due to COVID-19 with a five-tier system to provide financial aid to 90 athletes amid the global pandemic. The categories included elite, high-performing, emerging, developing, and team athletes.
    The association also instituted an athlete insurance policy to the tune of $ 50 000 to offset the cost of sports-related injuries.
    A seven-member allocations and funding commission, chaired by first vice-president Cameron Burke, was also introduced in an effort to make recommendations to the board on providing funding support to athletes directly, and through their respective national federations.

    Source: Nation

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  • Stephen Lashley be quiet!

    Lashley queries stadium plan

    by ANMAR GOODRIDGE-BOYCE
    anmargoodridge-boyce@nationnews.com

    FORMER SPORTS MINISTER Stephen Lashley is calling on Government to provide a further update on Barbados’ request for grant funding to facilitate the building of a new National Stadium.
    With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over, Lashley said the Mia Mottley-led administration must make the worn-out facility in Waterford, St Michael one of the main sporting priorities.
    “The multipurpose stadium is something that we need to get going if we are really serious about moving forward. The country needs to know where we are at in relation to the grant funding from China,” Lashley told MIDWEEK SPORT during a recently telephone interview.
    “We have to start building our athletes from young and the only way to do that is to show them that we have confidence in them by giving them a facility that they can train and improve at.
    This year, the Athletics Association of Barbados was forced to stage its track races and jumping events at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex, because of the unsatisfactory state of worn-out track at the National Stadium.
    “We must ensure that we can set a timeline for the completion of the National Stadium. It is critical and it would help, notwithstanding that a lot of our athletes are foreign-based but what about the ones who are here.” he asked.
    However, last month, Chinese President XI Jinping, in virtual talks with Mottley said attention will be paid to the Stadium project.
    Nevertheless, Lashley said a new stadium would provide the opportunity for the island to host major athletic events.
    “We can invite international coaches to come and partner with our local coaches. We can also have more meets and more relay fairs and be a generator of revenue in relation to boosting our economy as well but the only way to do that is to demonstrate a national confidence in our athletes. The young ones coming up at NAPSAC and BSSAC will see the potential medal at the Olympics by virtue of living and breathing that national motivation.” He stated.
    Must be indoctrinated
    Lashley, who served in the Democratic Labour Party Government from 2008 to 2018 said winning a medal on the global stage must be indoctrinated in local athletes from young.
    “Each time we have Olympics we can’t just sit down in front the television and wish for a gold, we have to plan for it. We have to build up a sense of national priority if we want to achieve medals at the Olympics. We must not show it only by our words but also by our deeds and providing the necessarily facilities to boost the confidence of our athletes,” he said.
    Lashley said that sport in Barbados must not be a pastime but part of local culture.
    “I think we have no choice but to demonstrate that just as we spend money in tourism, we have to believe that sports can be an industry and be the impetus by which we can generate the interest among our young people to have the confidence to move forward. It has to be a national effort led by Government who must provide the resources,” he pointed out.

    Source: Nation

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  • Stoute should know, he was part of the problem.

    Stoute: ‘F’ for sporting culture
    By Rachelle Agard
    rachelleagard@nationnews.com
    Former president of the Barbados Olympic Association Steve Stoute said there were a number of ways Barbados failed and continued to fail in sport and creating a sporting culture.
    He was speaking during an intergenerational dialogue on Wednesday that formed part of the fourth annual global Youth Network Summit on Sports for Climate Action, hosted by the Ashley Lashley Foundation in partnership with UNICEF.
    Stoute, also a former president of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation, said he had worked hard towards trying to bring sport more into the social dynamic for many years with limited success.
    “I have tried to convince respective Governments that sport, not only plays a key role in improving the health of the country, but it can also help to improve the economic environment through sports tourism and the social environment to take guys off the block, and it can promote the country internationally,” he said.
    “Unfortunately, it seems that our citizens only zoom in on two things; cricket and when the Olympic Games come around, everybody zeroes in on the Olympic Games and perhaps disappointment at how our athletes have performed.”
    Stoute was responding to a question posed by moderator Abigail Johnson, who queried if he believed enough was being done to foster a good sporting culture in Barbados, and what could be done to improve on the shortcomings.
    The former BOA president said unless the island adopted a more sport-friendly environment, including making sports a major part of the school curriculum, Barbados would always fall short.
    “In all of our schools, sport is a pastime,” he said. “It is not part of how you are marked or your overall performance is judged.
    “A number of students may want to take a path going towards sport instead of fully academic. There are a number of ways we have failed in Barbados and continue to fail in sport and creating a sport culture.”
    Using the National Stadium as an example, Stoute said at one time Barbados boasted the best stadium in the Caribbean, and was regarded as the cycling capital of the region.
    In disrepair
    “Today, our stadium is in disrepair and the Crop Over Festival is always given priority over sport when it came to use of the National Stadium, even if it was in an Olympic year,” he said. “Yes, culture is extremely important, but so is sport. We do not have a dynamic sport culture in Barbados.”
    Further, Stoute said one of the primary weaknesses in the local sporting fraternity was the inability to produce sporting administrators.
    “We need to convince Government to set up a school where sports is the focus, so a student can decide to select sport as an avenue,” he said. “If we view sports internationally, there are activities and revenue in becoming a professional sportsperson, but we are not creating that environment.
    “In the Olympic Committee, we, through our lottery, provide funding for athletes, but most of their training is done overseas. There isn’t a lot of specialised coaching here in Barbados.
    “There is no major revenue to be generated in being a coach, so a policy from Government is needed to change the educational system, and then we need our national federations to operate more professionally.”
    Stoute said many of the national sports organisations were run by amateurs and volunteers as they didn’t have enough money to employ professional people to administer the sport.

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  • All these things are obvious. One’s biochemistry is only a part, albeit a major part of what makes a successful athlete.

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  • Attitude to sports wrong, says Oba

    OBADELE THOMPSON, Barbados’ only individual Olympic medallist, says the outlook towards sports on the island is “wrong and backward”.
    Thompson, who was a guest on Starcom Network’s Brass Tacks Sunday’s radio call-in programme entitled The Blueprint To The Podium In Paris 2024, said he submitted a plan to Government and the Barbados Olympic Association in 2006 outlining what measures needed to be taken in order for the country to win its next Olympic medal.
    However, he lamented that the plan, geared towards high-performance consultancy, had fallen on deaf ears. “I will say this . . . as a former athlete and as a person who has now had enough experience, been removed from the sport, met with a lot of people and studied a lot about sports [and] talked to people all over the world, the approach that we take is simply wrong and backward. If they would have implemented the plan that I had, I think we would have been in a better position today,” he said.
    Thompson, who elevated Barbados to unprecedented heights at the Sydney 2000 Olympics when he won bronze in the marquee men’s 100 metres final, said a greater number of past athletes must play a role in sports development.
    “What we see here – rejecting a proposal like mine, and so many former athletes and our best athletes not being involved at the highest level – speaks volumes to the mentality and the way that we do business at home. If my proposal was implemented, we would have data and we would be further ahead because it is comprehensive,” he said.
    “It draws upon my experiences as an athlete and my conversations with many people, including the high-performance director of the US Olympic Committee who after my hour-and-ahalf- long conversation said, ‘Anything that you need I’m here for you’.”
    In a very passionate tone, Thompson said he was hurt that Barbados only had one medal at the biggest sporting event.
    “As much as I like the celebration of what I did 20-something years ago, you know what makes me feel sad? It is that there is not another to join it. I did that to show people that there is a way and a path.
    “When Donovan Bailey [retired Canadian Olympic 100 metres gold medallist] was telling me run for another country because your people aren’t going to appreciate it, and when you are finished running come back and give back, I said, ‘No Donovan, I want to show people that you can do it from Barbados’,” the 45-year-old said.
    The former sprinter, who holds the national records of 9.87 seconds in the 100 metres and 19.97 over 200 metres, said he believed it was his duty to represent Barbados on the international stage.
    “I knew that if I went to run for Canada, I could have been in a position like Andre de Grasse because I was that good, but you know what was really important to me? I have a Guyanese father and a Bermudian mother. God allowed me to be born in Barbados, I got educated in Barbados and I represent Barbados.
    “All these other old ideas about stakeholders, I get it, but you know what? Athletes’ careers are on the line. I am fighting for the next generation and I want them to do as much as they can,” he said. (AG-B)

    Source: Nation

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  • They never listen to those who have answers.

    Attitude problem.

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