Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Sport must not trump academics

Published:Friday | January 15, 2016 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I write in response to a letter written by Andre Gordon, published on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. Mr Gordon suggested that Alex Marshall, the talented young footballer from St George's College, quit school in order to pursue further development of his talent.

Mr Gordon's letter has caused me to wonder if we value sports, fame and wealth more than education. As a teacher, I am disturbed by the recommendation.

Shellece Clark, my youngest sister, who attends Edwin Allen High School, has been excelling in her academics, as well as track. To date, she has defended her title since being a class four runner and she has represented Jamaica on several occasions. My suggestion therefore, to Alex Marshall, Mr Gordon and those who share his view, is to strike a balance between academics and sports.

Mr Gordon made reference to Usain Bolt, who actually holds a doctorate from the University of the West Indies. Why not aspire to become an all-rounder such as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who holds several track titles and a BSc degree? Why not aspire to be like Sherona Forrester, the 2016 Rhodes Scholar?

It is imperative that we teach and encourage our youngsters to learn how to balance their academics while developing their talents. While honorary degrees sound flashy when attached to one's name, it is not the same as having been through studies while scoring goals or completing that 100-metre race.

KERIFFE CLARK

Teacher at St George's College