Prepare athletes for the future
THE EDITOR, Sir:
While, obviously, a concern in terms of richer countries, like Bahrain, scavenging the resources of poorer countries like Jamaica, athletes' switching of allegiance is not a new phenomenon. Merlene Ottey did it. Jacques Harvey did it. Now Shericka Williams, Andrew Fisher and Kimarley Brown are skipping off to Bahrain.
The more important matter is really about the total development of the athlete. This is especially with respect to issues of economics after their days of track and field athletics are over and are, therefore, no longer lucrative. For some, it already is not.
In other words, more must be done to harness and reward the talents and abilities of young Jamaican people who choose to go the way of sport as a career. We need to invest in their abilities from early, with a view to ensuring that they are properly equipped with the appropriate skills and capacities to make appropriate choices in the future.
Student athletes should be encouraged from very early to balance both school and academic work and to seek out opportunities for any other kinds of development which would serve to make them more competitive, not just at sports, but also in life. They should be advised to explore college programmes that offer a good combination of academics and sport, particularly in the areas in which they excel.