By Sean Devers
National Athletics Coach Lyndon Wilson noted that several things must be done by Government and Corporate Guyana for Athletics here to improve.
“The difference with Guyana and other countries is that the other countries see sports as a business.
“It’s a business now and they invest lots of money to get there and if we are talking about tourism I think sports is the best way to go for Guyana,” noted Wilson
“Government must see sports as a tool for National development. The Government and Corporate Guyana must combine and just don’t see as sport, see as putting us on the map,” Wilson opined.
“Jamaica did it, Usain Bolt, his name will keep ringing for another hundred years ….generations after generations for what he did in Athletics for Jamaica.
Years ago after Jessie Owens, Jamaica was not known in Athletics as a powerhouse they became a silent Island. Here comes Bolt, Veronica Campbell, Shelly Ann Fraser,
Everybody wants to go to Jamaica, to train, to eat their food because they want to know what is causing Jamaica to rise to this level,” said Wilson, whose favourite female Athlete is Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce.
“It aches me to know we have Athletes in Guyana and we have businesses here who could use an Athlete for endorsements but they are not utilising that opportunity. I wonder if Government will give tax rebates for their sponsorship. Athletes don’t only want support when they going out to compete. They need support from the day they start training, it’s very costly to train, they need at least three pairs of proper running shows for every three months and one pair costs about $18,000, they need supplements, the right food.
We are seeing more encampments now and that’s why our CARIFTA teams are doing so well but I want see more, even among the seniors,” added Wilson.
Wilson wants to see an All Sports University where our best sportspersons attend at a young age and focus on their sport and education with the best coaches, physiologists and Teachers in Guyana.
“They will know that the school will provide time for them to train and study in whatever sport they play, be it Football, Athletics, Cricket or whatever and get Government and sponsors to cover the cost.
That’s how the Americans and English develop. In 2012 when England won their most medals at the Olympics they had their major Athletes preparing for eight years to get there and took care of everything for them.
That means Athletes will be comfortable and just focus on their studies and sport. Of course they will benefit but they are performing for their Country which will get the glory. We could produce top Athletes from right here,” continued the AAA level 3 Coach.
“Proper facilities and more qualified Coaches working with same development plan in their respective sport disciplines is needed.
“We don’t need sportspersons who are just talented with a bat, a football or on the track, they must be highly educated that will help them develop technically and mentally at a much faster rate,” the 51-year-old opined.
Wilson is not a big advocate for overseas scholarships.
“A lot of people think if an Athlete is running well they can earn a Scholarship but Scholarships go with ability and your education and a lot of people have this myth that sportspersons will turn out to be a dunce.
Even teachers now are refusing to sit behind someone who wants to make sports their career and help them develop academically. For you to get a scholarship the Athlete has to be exceptionally good and show the inclination of being a leading runner in the world in two or three years.
If the Athlete does not possess those times or distances at that early age it will be difficult for them to get a scholarship without a sound educational background.
Some may be able to slip in without that background because they show exceptional quality times. Gaining a Scholarship is not as easy as some believe, they have to sit and talk to people like me; Coaches, Administrators.
Scholarships can be good and bad and I argue this a lot with my Administrators at AAG level, sometimes our own talent can be nurtured right here. We just need the right facilities, the right level of competition.
Scholarship where Guyana is concerned is not about building an Athlete it’s about building an individual to go out and live a better life. They will gain a degree or diploma, they will be able to stay in the States and a job which is not a bad thing.
But the real reason for a Scholarship is debatable because many times those Colleges just want these Athletes to make a name for the College.
I do research on Colleges wanting Guyanese Athletes and a lot of times the Coach may want to maintain his job so he will try to sneak in two or three Guyanese there because they are exceptionally good at some Event in his area of coaching but after would that Coach stick with that Athlete to help to beyond College level? I can’t say yes.
Winston George qualified from here, they are other Athletes who can qualify from here, people like Daren Fraser, Leslain Baird the Javelin thrower. We have the resources but we need facilities if we can get the two together we could produce world class Athletes right here.
“The difference with the sportspersons of today and in the 1980’s and 90s will be two-fold for me. This generation has technology at their fingertips. Technique wise you could go on you tube as see how something is done, they can go on their phone or go on the computer and see what to do.
Now they have replays showing how you came off the starting blocks or that you did not move your foot across enough and that is why you edged the ball.
In our time we listened more because there was no technology available to show you how it was done. Back then we had a black and white TVs with no replays.
Back in the days the sportspersons were mentally tougher because they had to listen to sports on the Radio and use the description of the commentators to imagine what technique was used for that particular play and go and try to execute it when you go to play. We read a lot also which develops concentration and better understanding of what you read.
The youngsters now watch sports on TV and only remember the end results; the six or the perfect finish to a 100 meters’ sprint and quickly forget the rest before those moments.
So I would say in our time we were mentally stronger, now they take things from granted since they get help from technology,” concluded Wilson who enjoys reading and watching sports and a bit of news on TV.
Aug 08, 2020Interim version WBA Super Middleweight title at stake Thirty-five-year-old Guyanese Lennox ‘Two Sharp’ Allen will match gloves with Cuban-born American David Morrell tonight at the Microsoft...
Five months of election rigging is over. Humans are unpredictable that is why no social scientist will ever use scientific... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Amid the feverish work to cope with both the public health and economic effects of COVID-19 on their... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]