Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Stop exploiting student athletes

Published:Tuesday | August 16, 2016 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Our dismal performance in the men's 400m at Rio has brought into sharp focus the destruction of our schoolboy athletes by some very wicked and selfish coaches in Jamaica.

There is absolutely no reason under the sun for Jamaica not to have a finalist in the men's 400m at Rio.

When you look at the talent coming through the high-school system in Jamaica, where the age 15 world record for the event, 45.27, is held by a Jamaican high-school kid, it is disappointing that we did not have a single man in that 400m men's final.

Too many Jamaican coaches are abusing our young talents to win Boys' Championships, and by so doing are destroying their future in the process.

Not because a 15-year-old can run sub-46 seconds, you should have him running three rounds of the 200m and 400m, plus rounds of the 4x100m and 4x400m. By doing so, you are overextending a great young talent, thus robbing him of future greatness and wealth.

I am appealing to all parents to be vigilant against these wicked mercenaries who seek to exploit our sons and daughters for their own personal gain.

I think the Ministry of Education should step in and limit all track athletes to two events and one relay. Adopt this principle and Jamaica will witness greater things than you are seeing today.

DONOVAN MCLEAN

danni-mackie@hotmail.com

Canada