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Monday 14th June 2010

In the last edition of CPTSA Wings Sports Club NewsLetter #33, the question was asked, “Where have all the female footballers gone?” But in general, where have all the female athletes gone?

Well, let‟s take a look around, they are either spending a lot of time on Facebook or getting ready for Carnival. Neither of these are bad. In fact, Facebook serves its communication pur-poses and Carnival is an important aspect of celebrating Anti-gua‟s abolition from slavery. However, neither of these will make one a top class athlete in any sport.

The excuses often come in from athletes and parents alike, “oh, it‟s exam time, we have to study,” as if they were not in school for most of the year. But, yes, they are in school, physi-cally, but mentally their minds are taken up with all the dis-tractions and attractions there is to offer: cell phones, face-book, partying, television, just to name a few. And then, for the last two (2) weeks of school they want to cram. So, it‟s a matter of studying to pass an exam and not to retain anything after-wards.

One upper-form secondary school student, in a P.E. exam was asked to give one principle of progression (in training). The student‟s answer was Michael Jackson!! In another likewise question, what is the principle of specificity, the student‟s an-swer was Oprah Winfrey. Well, great for Michael Jackson (deceased) and Oprah Winfrey from a student in Antigua, but obviously, the parents should note that the child has been watching too much television and is out of sync with reality!!

How many students have been seen liming during Sailing Week, spending valuable hours, at all sorts of nightly hours when they should be spending time in their books. Again, Sail-ing Week is a great event, but spending a lot of time in it won‟t give one an “A” in History. The same parents would not allow their children to spend time at practicing a sport because they have exams coming up.

At this particular time, the amount of students who could be-come Antigua/Barbuda‟s top athletes in Track & Field, Foot-ball, Basketball, Volleyball are practicing Majorettes or some other Carnival activity. Many others, including parents are finding the time for the Gym to look their physical best in their carnival costumes, not because they want to embark on a healthy lifestyle. In the various schools‟ athletic meets, there are more students who want to engage in Cheer-leading than the actual track & field events, or many of the same persons running and jumping are also engaged in cheer-leading.

Maybe Antiguan parents are rich and can afford to send their children to a College or University or can pay medical bills for them when they become sick or obese because of an inactive physical lifestyle.

However, someone, or Ministry of Education & Sports needs to make it mandatory for all to graduate with a Swimming Certifi-cate or a Sports Certificate. Business places and Companies should insist that students who apply for a job also possess a Sports Certificate along with their CXC‟s to be considered. That way, parents and students would pay more attention to Sports and Physical Education, because one will need to have sports included as part of one‟s resume in applying for a job.

A more concerted effort and a more dynamic approach need to be given to children from at least age five (5) to start to engage in practices in sports, if Antigua wants to produce International and World Class sportsmen & women. In other words, as a CPTSA motto goes: “Give back the children the ball.”

There are certainly too many lazy coaches, associations and sports administrators, who are only around to benefit from the frills and opportunities that sports can give, but they are not there for the long haul. Also, Government has provided a lot of young men and women the opportunity to study Physical Educa-tion & Sports in Cuba, and others have gained athletic scholarships, but a lot of these per-sons, on their return to Antigua are not willing to give anything extra, unless they are remu-nerated. Many have even kicked down the ladder after they have graduated, never to have helped another Antiguan/Barbudan ath-lete to gain what they have attained. One can say „hats off‟ to the Villa Lions, and individu-als in that club who have been giving back and assisting players with Scholarships or re-ferring others to the same Colleges they have been to.

Image to the left: Thaddeus Price, of Wings

A lot of hype and promotion are at the mo-ment, given to World Cup Football, and recently World Cup 20/20 Cricket, by companies, parents and novices, but nothing is being filtered down in terms of more
participation, incentives, and youth development, especially female, for these sports in Antigua/Barbuda. When will Antigua/Barbuda reach to the next level? When will Antigua/Barbuda qual-ify to reach to World Cup level, like Trinidad & To-bago and Jamaica has done in the past? Which World Cup Football team are you hooting for, Anti-gua/Barbuda?
The average person in Antigua is now paying a lot of attention to the NBA Play-offs, but which Antiguan is playing in the NBA Play-offs? When will Antiguans see one of it‟s own? When will Antigua/Barbuda Basketball qualify again for the Caribbean & Central American Basketball or Olympic Games.

Will there be another World class Netball shooter like Yvonne Williams-Willis or is Netball dead, at the moment?

Image to the right: Everton Cor-nelius giving back in Track & Field

When will West Indies Cricket rise again? Who in Antiguan/Barbudan is the country waiting on to take Antigua or West In-dies Cricket back on the rise? The wait might be very long in coming, since that youngster is in grade three, but no one is “giving him the ball” to learn the game, as yet!! Who will take up where the late Hayden Walsh has left off, after all the lip ser-vice have been given? What are the other legendary Antiguan cricketers doing, besides lip service, to help the game. Let‟s get started from the „Ground Up.‟


Some of the Wings girls who took time out for a small treat. (Photo courtesy Photo Shack)

The girls of the Wings Youth Basketball team which represented Christ the King High School in the 2010 Inter-school Baketball League were treated to Movie, and Piz-zas at the Big Banana on Satur-day, June 5.
The girls se-cured the Cham-pionship title last month after defeating Clare-hall Secondary.

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