THE EDITOR, Sir:
On Saturday, February 23, 2013, I attended the Gibson Relays. However, I was very alarmed to see athletes from a few primary schools running barefooted!
One of these schools even finished second in one of the relays! Can you imagine if that team had been properly equipped? This is not the first time that I have observed this. With Jamaica now being the sprint capital of the world, this cannot be allowed to continue.
I am appealing to the Institute of Sports and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association to conduct an audit of the number of athletes at the primary level who are in need of this vital footwear, and mobilise the private sector to provide sponsorship. Given the intimate relationship between Puma and Jamaica's athletics fraternity, that's a good place to start.
Pele and Maradona could not have realised their dreams of becoming the world's best footballers without being equipped with football boots; Serena Williams and Roger Federer could not have dominated tennis without rackets; the late Dany Wilson (Jamaican) could not have realised his dream of becoming a top-ranked indoor and beach volleyball player and playing professional volleyball overseas without the necessary playing gear; and Usain Bolt could not have become the world's fastest human without running spikes.
I am appealing to philanthropic Jamaicans to donate running spikes to needy athletes.
Let's equip our youngsters with the necessary tools so that they can realise their full potential.
WAYNE O. ROBERTSON
Immediate Past President
Jamaica Volleyball Association