Anis Ade-Thomas soaring to higher heights despite challenges
- real support needed from government and corporate Guyana
Despite the lack of real corporate and governmental support, many of Guyana’s athletes continues to soar the ladder of positive achievement earning respect for themselves and Guyana.
In the small world of Powerlifting, Guyana’s athletes have over the years especially the past five to six years, have been breaking records at the Caribbean, Regional, Commonwealth, International and Masters levels.
Just a few days ago (July 24-28), this nation’s lone athlete to the 10th Annual IPF/NAPF North American Regional Powerlifting Championships held at the Westin Hotel in Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands secured a silver and bronze medal competing in the Men’s Junior 83 kg to 93kg combined category.
Ade-Thomas, a quiet and easy going individual who hails from the Ancient County of Berbice, New Amsterdam to be specific also smashed his own Commonwealth Dead Lift record in the process as well as set new National records.
He achieved new national standards for the Squat 265kg (584.32lbs); Bench Press 132.5kg (292.16lbs); Dead Lift 295kg (650.47lbs) and Total 692.5kg (1,526.96lbs).
The new Commonwealth Junior Dead Lift record of 295.0kgs replaces the old mark of 292.5kg which he achieved at the Caribbean Championships last March.
While his achievements are shared by all including the nation, Ade-Thomas had to pull out all the stops in order to bring this nation glory; his attendance in the Cayman Islands was made possible by the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport after touching down on Tuesday, Ade-Thomas noted that his performance has cleared up a lot of doubts about his ability to perform under pressure at a high level.
The athlete arrived on the Island just the night before competition and was severely affected by jet jag but as a true Guyanese, the challenges that he faced only brought out the best in him resulting in glory for Guyana.
He earned silver behind the USA’s and the NAPF reigning Conway Brookes in the 83 kg to 93kg combined category and bronze in the Men’s 83kg Open division.
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Ade-Thomas’ performance has again vindicated the confidence the GAPF shows in the athletes they select to represent this nation given the fact that nine out of ten times they medal since Guyana’s return to international competition.
Like many have noted and continues to point out, corporate and government support has been very little or nothing at all and Ade-Thomas pointed this out very early in reflecting on his exploits.
“Government must see that the GAPF has continued to excel in overseas competitions over the years and they must step up their tangible and real support for our athletes. They have to do more, they must trust the work that the GAPF under President Peter Green has been doing and support them in real terms.”
The athlete complimented the GAPF for making it possible for him to represent Guyana, he also singled out his coach, Egbert Jackson for the splendid job he has done in preparing him and for the mental, psychological strength and discipline he has instilled in him.
The Total Fitness (Corentyne Berbice) Gym member said that he spoke with his coach the night before competition to find out what he felt about how he would perform given the fact that he did not have and would not have had enough rest leading up to the start of competition.
And as he has always done, Coach Jackson set about pumping up his athlete psychologically for the task at hand, the rest is now history.
The Trinidad and Tobago team at the championships also played a part in inspiring Ade-Thomas as they cheered him on along with his Manager, Gordon Spencer who was very encouraging, Ade-Thomas noted.
“This victory is for all who would have been playing positive roles in my development to date. I am very grateful to them all for their support.”
Coach Jackson also spoke with Kaieteur Sport about Ade-Thomas’ accomplishment pointing out that it was up to standards.
He also echoed the sentiments of Ade-Thomas in relation to government and corporate support for athletes. Jackson, who has been in the sport dating back to the 1980s said that his charge has done very well as a junior and his ascendency will surely depend on the level of support he is able to get.
The seasoned coach highlighted that fact that Ade-Thomas wanted to quit the sport at one point due to the lack of support, but he was able to convince him to do otherwise, his achievements speaks for itself.
“Financial support is vital for him, the cost for a suit is quite a bit and after sometime you will have to change it due to wear and tear. There is also the issue of supplements and vitamins that the athlete would need to keep himself going all the time, so lots of help is needed to keep in the game if you are serious of about achieving.”
“When you are exceptional in Guyana nobody does anything to help you, there is only a lot of talk. Athletes need incentives to help them along and encourage them to continue. Corporate Guyana and the government need to really step it up and help.”
Commenting on the achievement of his athlete from a role model stand point, Jackson was quick to point out that his performances will serve to motivate other young athletes in a positive way.
In commending the GAPF for the work it has been doing, Jackson informed that he has quite a few more athletes to unleash in the sport of powerlifting. (Frankie Wilson)