Maurice Edwards - sportsman at heart
Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:THOUGH HE'S a tailor, Maurice Edwards has never fully exerted himself in the profession as he has done in the field of sports over the last two decades.
His desire, however, while growing up in Franklyn Town, Kingston, was to be a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
"I developed a love for sports at an early age and represented Vauxhall Secondary in track and field and football," he told The Gleaner.
In 1992, Edwards took his passion to another level when he became the assistant coach at Dunoon Technical High School and Jetsetters Netball and Social Club, serving also as the club's umpire. He also did a stint as assistant coach for Churches Credit Union's netball team.
Edwards, who completed a two-year programme in sports administration at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sports in Spanish Town, was also a member of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic-Administrative Association.
He has served several institutions including, St Theresa Preparatory, Bog Walk High, Ewarton High, and Charlemont High schools as physical education teacher.
"Many children's talent lies in sports, and they can use this to make something good of themselves, so I want to help them to achieve this," he said.
It is this drive which further propelled him to assist athletes in the rural areas, and with input from Donald Tingling, Ewarton businessman, in 2009, the Movement for Transformation in Training (MTT) Track Club was established.
"The MTT Track Club is specifically geared towards assisting athletes who are financially challenged and have talent. We have three sections: under-12, 12 to 20, and the seniors," noted Edwards.
Tingling hails Edwards as a visionary who is committed to sports development.
"Mr Edwards is very dedicated, very hard-working, very focused, and always looking ahead. We would like to see MTT go as far as possible because it has potential, and if he gets financial assistance, he can do that," said Tingling, MTT's manager.
Edwards has figured prominently in the staging of the Ewarton Community Develop-ment Action Committee Primary/Prep school Develop-ment Meet held at the Bramwell Clarke Park Sports Complex in Ewarton over the last two years.
He was also instrumental in the inaugural staging of the MTT/ECODAC Development meet in 2012, also held at the complex. The 2013 meet is scheduled for Saturday, February 16, at the same venue.
"The meet aims to assist, especially, the schools in the rural areas that are financially challenged and have difficulties in reaching Kingston and other areas to get their qualification times, so it will be used as a qualifier for the 2013 ISSA (Inter-Secondary Schools Association) Boys & Girls' Athletics Championships, as well as preparation for the CARIFTA trials," Edwards explained.
Events to be contested include the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m races, shot putt, and discuss.
"The meet is for under-17, under-20, and seniors. Class Four athletes can participate, but they will have to run in the under-17," he explained.
Edwards, pointed out that it would cost just over $500,000 to stage the one-day meet. He is hoping that the business sector in and around Ewarton, the wider St Catherine, and Kingston will find it possible to assist.
"We are pleading for assistance to stage this meet. This meet can turn out another Asafa Powell, another Usain Bolt or Veronica Campbell. So far, Cari-Med has confirmed sponsorship, and we are awaiting responses from other companies and the Office of the Prime Minister through the minister of sports," he said.