Who said you can’t have the best of all worlds?
Whoever did must have never met 26-year-old Dawn-Marie Layne.
She is beautiful, intelligent, loves sports, and now has her own business. She is simply living her dream.
Having achieved so much at such a young age, Dawn’s humble, infectious personality would surprise most.
Sitting in her office and looking around at the hot pink room, neatly decorated and ever “girly”, one would never imagine that she is so “sporty”.
“I was much different at Combermere. I was all tomboyish and loved playing with the boys on mornings, lunch time, you name it. Overall, I am a normal human being and I live my life to please me. I have a fun personality and I love to have fun but I guess you could say I am a workaholic,” she said with her contagious laugh.
But the former Barbados cricketer has put down the cricket ball and rested up her bat, if only for a little while, to develop her career in sports psychology. She is the proud manager of DML Sport Psychology. And no, not DML her initials, but meaning, Developing Mental Leadership.
“I am very passionate about sports psychology and I would like to see it reach its height in Barbados, which was one of the main reasons for opening this practice. We are hoping that over time we are able to lend to sport development here in Barbados. Providing bigger opportunities for the younger athletes here,” she said.
And sitting in her office upstairs the Hall and Griffith stand at the cricket Mecca, Kensington Oval, Layne beamed with a sense of pride at her accomplishment.
“Having my own practice was something I always dreamed of and I am glad I opened it in Barbados. I could have opened one in England but there are so many there already, and I know there is a great need for it here in Barbados. And I think it is quite fitting that I have it here at one of the greatest cricket grounds in the world,” Layne added.
While having to give up her beloved sport was a tough decision and huge sacrifice, Dawn Marie is beginning to see the fruits of her labour and the benefits of having made the sacrifice.
“So far I have held a sports psychology lecture series and it was very successful. I had a very good turnout. Also many of the persons that I have worked with have said that they have gotten better since seeing me and are continually working on their game and that makes me happy because I genuinely care about the development of sport in Barbados,” Dawn added.
And since she loves sports so much, she has decided to extend her business and form DML Sport Academy.
“Out of DML sport psychology I have developed and extended my love for sport to develop myself in the area of sport development and formed DML sport academy. I am trying to hone the skills of athletes from early. I am focused on the holistic development of these athletes.”
And for the first time, DML Sport academy will be hosting a summer camp.
“I saw the need for us to pay more attention to our youth. We are stressing the importance of sport education, helping them to become more aware. We are focusing on the nutritional aspect of it, the athletic development of it. Teaching them the importance of mental training and the things you really need to tie into your daily going about. What we are striving for is to train that model athlete,” she said.
However she noted that this was not the ordinary summer camp.
“The summer camp is sports based and it is limited to 112 persons. DML sports academy stands for identification, development, the professionalisation of the sport. We want these young athletes to understand their sport and to know what it takes to develop to their true potential,” Layne added.
She continued: “DML sports academy is focused on the holistic development of athletes and hoping that someday we will be able to take an athlete from four or five-years-old and take them right through and be able to provide opportunities outside of the Government structure and outside the traditional
The self-motivated fashionista expressed her disappointment at the quality of athletes emerging. She said it aches to see the behaviour of some cricketers and athletes by extension.
“The players’ attitudes leave a lot to be desired. That is why I want to work with the children from young to teach them the importance of being a well rounded cricketer. Not just to have the talent. That won’t get you very far,” she stressed.
Layne added that she believed the attitudes of the cricketers needed to be changed if the game was to improve and cricket was to reach back to the height it once was. She made reference to the very empty Kensington Oval during the test match between West Indies and New Zealand.
“People are losing interest in cricket. Take a look outside. How many people do you see out there now? People aren’t that interested in cricket anymore, especially test cricket and that’s sad,” she lamented.
Layne took a glance at the field from her office window and vowed: “I will be back.”
But one has to wonder how and when she will find the time, given that she also runs a successful charity.
Layne, along with six other women, heads Team Pink, an organisation which donates to charity.
“Team Pink is fun and we love giving back. It’s our little contribution to the Cancer Society. We host events such as cruises and all the proceeds go to them,” she explained, adding they would also be hosting events for the upcoming Limacol Caribbean Premier League tournament.