Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Let's honour our athletes

Published:Saturday | August 20, 2016 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Our athletes have made us proud, but have we made them proud? These people are natural and national treasures. They not only give us an emotional uplift, but they will go down in the

history books as athletics champions.

They not only give us pride of place in the world, but they bring tourist and tourist dollars to Jamaica. They not only put us on the front page, but

minimise the ugly, murderous image we have out there. They not only serve as idols and icons to our youth, but give purpose and dignity for them to follow.

We are good at TV, radio and other media coverage of the many events. But is that good enough? But what have we given to them?

First, we should declare a National Sports Day, when we celebrate all our sportspersons, present and past.

On their return from Rio, we should meet them at the airport and then proceed to the National Arena to offer them awards. At the Independence Park complex, we should also have sculptures of our most outstanding men and women.

In the parish capitals, we should also erect statues signifying their contribution to national development. Not only this, but we should give them land and a government-built house. In addition, the Government should provide them with pension plans.

If we do the above for our athletes, could you imagine the ripple effect? I could see more young people taking sports seriously. I could see unemployment among our youths decreasing. I could see the murder rate dropping.

I could see Jamaicans with more national pride and morale. I could see us building more sports complexes for local and international usage in the areas of training and competitions. I can see us developing more coaches and health professionals for the local and international markets. I could see us becoming the athletics capital of the world.

WHITLEY MCLEAN

whitleymclean@yahoo.com