Coach Carr wants more support for junior athletes
Raymond Graham, Sunday Gleaner Writer
HEAD coach of Jamaica's team to the recent IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Michael Carr, has called on the Government and private sector to provide more support for the country's junior athletes.
Carr, who was also at the helm a year ago when the country created history by topping the medal table at the IAAF World Youth Championships, a first for the country at a world track and field meet, is disappointed at the low level of support being given to the young athletes, most of whom are in high school.
"I am appealing to the Government and the private sector to come out and support the young athletes who have done well for the country. Now is the time to do so," Carr, the Wolmer's Girls' coach, said.
He added: "Most of these athletes are from poor families and most of the parents cannot find school fees and if some investment is made in them I think this will be a big motivational booster. We must nurture the tree when it is young and not wait until it has been grown fully. The initial stages are the most important."
Carr is also disappointed that not enough was done to motivate the medal-topping team from the World Youth Championships a year ago. This, he said, would have helped to lift the athletes going into the recent World Juniors.
"After we came back from the World Youth Championships enough was not done to show appreciation for the management staff and the athletes.
"These athletes are the future of the sport in Jamaica and if we ignore them we are going to lose them. As one who has been working with many of them for the past two years, I know that most of the parents cannot manage and some private firms or the Government should try to adopt some of these athletes and put some funds in place to help with school fees or books as now is the time to nurture them," said Carr.