“Believe in something or someone more powerful than yourself.”
Those were the words of advice given to Barbados’ outstanding badminton players by Glyne Clarke Wednesday evening at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) when the Barbados Badminton Association (BBA) held its 2017 Junior National Awards Ceremony.
Clarke, manager of the BOA, encouraged the players to set realistic and smart goals in their sports journey, find what excites and drives them, work hard and to remember that nothing comes easy.
“Work hard at your craft. Nothing comes easy and hard work is necessary for all endeavours. I would like to encourage you about the art of giving back and volunteering . . . as I came up through sports there were lots of people who helped me and pushed me in different areas. To whom much is given much is expected and if someone didn’t have confidence in me I might have missed this opportunity,” Clarke said.
The former national basketballer pointed to that discipline being a defining factor in his life while quoting Nelson Mandela, saying: “Sports has the power to change the world.”
Clarke made mention of the Personal Accident Insurance plan just introduced by the BOA for athletes and officials while explaining that they were countless opportunities available to today’s young generation.
“Today many opportunities are available to young athletes, some that most of you would take for granted. At the Olympic Committee there are resources in terms of funding that I am sure persons like Shari and Andre [former junior national players] would have been happy to benefit from in their time. Opportunities where they can travel to other countries and train and funding is now available for young people to train and compete,” he said.
In 2016 Barbados junior national team achieved five gold, 12 silver and nine bronze, compared to 2015 results of two silver and 19 bronze.
During her final speech as president of the BBA before elections are held Thursday at BOA at 6:30 p.m., Shari Hope told the young aspiring badminton players to always believe in themselves.
She said the journey with the junior players over the last two years had been very exciting and the coaches always put their best efforts to guide and help in showcasing the hidden qualities of each and every player.
“Today is not only about the celebration of award recipients but about each player taking stock of the results of his or her labour, attitude and motivation. We celebrate each player’s achievement for what they have individually achieved. Each player’s learning journey is celebrated tonight.
“According to Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.’ What this is saying is that disappointment is not forever. It will end at some point. Infinite hope is the antidote to overcoming temporary disappointment and hindrances to one’s important goals. Always believe in yourself.
“Each player here needs to be asking himself or herself about the way forward. Each player here has the potential and the opportunity to be the recipient of future awards. Today is about affirmation and seeking inspiration. It is about the future as much as it is an acknowledgement of the past. But most importantly, it is about the present. And the power each of us has to create new possibilities from this,” Hope said.
In closing, the president asked all players to consider the power of choice, setting of goals and being passionate about what they do.
There were several outstanding performers for 2016 and topping the list were Most Outstanding Junior Male and Female, which went to Gavin Robinson and Krystal Clarke respectively.
Shae Martin in the Under-19 Boys and Dominick Scantlebury competing in Under-15 both captured triple gold in their respective age group. Fallon Miller also won two gold in the Under-15 Girls Division and another in the Under-17 category. Fallon was also the recipient of the President’s Award. James Aaron Godding in the Under-17 Boys received a special award for his overall performance and attitude during training and competition.