I believe most people are proud of where they came from but they are even prouder when their countrymen not only participate in international sporting events but when they capture top sports. I recalled in 2016 when Delano Williams of the Turks and Caicos Islands represented Great Britain and it appeared that his team had won a medal. It was one of the most exciting and proudest moments for all of us in the Turks and Caicos. Unfortunately the excitement was short-lived as it was discovered that one of the team members ran out of the lane.
I can imagine how the people of Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean felt as Jamaica was able to capture first, second and third place in the women’s 100 meters race. Jamaica also was able to capture spots in many other races.
Of course there are other countries that won medals and you can feel and sense the pride from the citizens of these countries. Therefore, Governments throughout the world should not take sports for granted.
Sports is the key to increase national pride and to keep our people preoccupied. If we want to focus on our young people, then invest in sports. I believe there are citizens in every country that have the potential to do great internationally. It does not matter the size of your country. Grenada, Bahamas and Jamaica have proven to the world that they can compete and win against large countries. The Bahamas now has eight individuals in the NBA.
Focus more on Sports
There must be more focus on sports as there are so many benefits. For too long, we have focused so much on academics. It is evident from the fact that many of the schools in the Turks and Caicos do not even have a sports program. Do not take sports for granted. Sports can keep our young people off the streets. Sports can unite a country. Sports can increase national pride. Sports can also keep you healthy.
A country such as Jamaica that continues to capture top spots in Track and Field is because Jamaica focuses a lot on sports until it appears to be a part of their culture. Because it is a part of their culture, they practice frequently until they become the best in what they do. They do not wait until a few weeks before the event to practice and expect to perform. In order to win, they need to practice all year round.
National Pride and Unity
Sports and Music unite people. Therefore, if we want an increase in national pride and unity, then engage the people in sports. Delano Williams has proven that we can participate and do well in the Olympics. Trevor Ariza has proven that a Turks and Caicos Islander can be in the NBA. Billy Forbes has proven that a Turks and Caicos can be an international footballer. Sonia Fulford-Misick has proven that someone from a small island like TCI can be a member of the FIFA Council. All of these individuals have contributed to an increase in national pride for me and many others. Do you see the potential we have to increase our national pride by simply investing more in sports?
Keep our people preoccupied
We did not have much activities but one that thing that kept us preoccupied was sports. There was very little or no crime at all. I personally believe if we can get people more involve in sports, it will keep them busy and they will not have idle time to join gangs and commit crimes. You see our young people are looking for something to do and if we do not engage them in activities such as sports, they will something else that may be detrimental to them.
I am not sports person but many of my children are and I can see the benefits that they are experiencing from participating in sporting events. I cannot end this article without thanking the Sports Commission for the increased efforts they are doing to make a difference in sports it the Turks and Caicos Islands. There are also several sporting camps that are taking place over the summer. I encourage parents to register their children so they can start participating in sports. Thanks to all of the organizers and sponsors for these sporting camps.