Give em praise!
‘Athletes need to be applauded whether they medal or not’
It is time to give our athletes more praise and support whether they medal or not at major events says president of the Barbados Squash Association, Craig Archer.
His comments came during a press conference held yesterday at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) to recognize the accomplishments of members of the Barbados squash team who recently returned home from the Caribbean And Central American Games, held in Veracruz, Mexico.
Barbados returned home from the Games with just four medals –– one silver and three bronze –– while being represented in 19 disciplines.
Sprinter Levi Cadogan finished second in the 110m hurdles, while Kierre Beckles and Greggmar Swift claimed bronze in their hurdle events, along with squash players Gavin Cumberbatch and Karen Meakins.
Archer explained it was not possible for every single athlete who represents Barbados at a major event to earn a medal and that should not be the only standard by whichan athlete is judged.
“As administrators what you want is your team to perform to their best ability. Not everybody that leaves these shores to attend these games can win medals, it is not physically possible. Not all of them are at the level or standard to win a medal and that is not always the purpose and that is my understanding for this particular tour,” he insisted
“My understanding of the BOA’s policy is that they are trying to expose athletes to higher levels of competition and that is what they do and they should be applauded for it. Some of our athletes will be fortunate enough to win medals but that is not the only standard by which a returning athlete should be judge.
”If athletes attain personal bests or break Barbados records, they should be applauded for that. If any athlete under my charge plays their best and finishes last, that is all you can ask for from them because they are being exposed to a higher standard of competition,” Archer added.
Another issue he raised was the fact that in Mexico, there is an enormous picture of Barbadian 110m hurdler Shane Brathwaite, but yet there is no such recognition for our own in Barbados.
“I don’t understand why it is that I have to go all the way to Mexico to see an enormous image of Shane Brathwaite who is the 110m hurdle bronze medallist in the Pan American Championships and I come back to Barbados and I can’t see it here,” Archer argued.
“Why is it our athletes cannot get recognition? Barbados’ athletes across the board need to be recognized. It is not only awards, it is things like that.
”Why aren’t there images of Ryan Brathwaite, Obadele Thompson, Andrea Blackett, Shane Brathwaite, Gavin [Cumberbatch] and Karen [Meakins]? Or our track and field athletes from this year Greggmar Swift, Kerri Beckles and Levi Cadogan at the airport plastered on the sides of buses? Those are the sort of things that would make Barbadians proud of their people who are competing under their umbrella,” he maintained.
President of the BOA, Steve Stoute, also agreed with Archer, saying that there was a need to praise our athletes when they do well.
“We need to praise athletes when they perform well, when they do their best. We at the BOA have been trying to do this as best as possible, but it needs a national initiative to achieve what Craig is indicating,” he noted.