There are some unsung heroes in Barbados – men and women who, on a daily basis, go about trying to make the world and their specific spaces better for their fellow people and humanity. April, the month when we celebrate the anniversary of the Bussa Rebellion and National Heroes Day, is a good time to shout some out.
I want to offer a heartfelt thanks to Andy Payne of Royal Westmoreland, President of the Barbados Golf Association Trevor Tasker, Julian Jordan and Ray Chee-a-Tow. These are my unsung heroes for the month of April.
They just assisted one of Barbados’ junior golf talents Oaziah Layne in accessing further training and support. Oz has played golf since he was ten. Although he is not at the pinnacle of junior golf, he still has the ability and temperament to be a contender in College golf. Alas, he lost his scholarship last year because his performances slid somewhat.
The way that we manage junior sporting talent continues to be a pet peeve of mine. I have said already and I will say again that the way that we support our junior athletes in Barbados needs to change. If we want to produce athletes that can compete on the world stage we cannot just depend on raw talent of athletes any longer. We need to develop programmes for skill training, endurance and strength training as well as career development and planning. At the time Oz’s game slid, he was recovering from injury, was doing his CXC examinations, discovering girls and learning to drive. We need to understand the cycle of life and the cycle of sport and how the two affect each other. We have to also learn how to develop athletes, not just for one tournament but for a 15 or 20-year career.
These gentlemen that I mentioned understand the limitations of our current system and they put personal grace behind this lad. That is what it takes to change the world – action in the first person.
I also want to thank the management and ownership of the Royal Westmoreland Golf Club. They have been, for years, accepting their corporate social responsibility and facilitating junior golfers in Barbados.
I want to recognise the parents of fastest schoolboy Julian Forde, as heroes. I read about his struggle with the requirements of observing his religion and choosing the track. I am pleased that he was allowed to pursue his goal and dream. Julian is another young man poised to be great in the athletic world. That is a most noble and worthy pursuit. I know that sometimes going against the grain can cause consternation.
The church, which really should be one of the most non-judgmental and supportive spaces, is often the exact opposite. It took courage and resolve to make the choice and I affirm that.
Although he may not be in his congregation on Saturdays, he is ministering with his work on the track. He is an example of what young males can aspire to in this country. He is in school and in training and pressing ahead with positive pursuits. Not that I am any expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the Jesus character did ministry in his living.
Among all those heroic people, technology is not to be left out. My newest tech hero is TAMIS!
In this back half of April, TAMIS is right there reminding me of my granny on Sunday evening with her medicine spoon and the bush tea. There is nothing that you can do to save yourself. Tamis is a necessary evil. As you fill out every line and notice how much information TAMIS is now able to capture, you feel completely helpless. The same feeling you had when you reach the end of the kitchen counter and granny was still over you with the spoon.
You know that this medicine is coming, regardless. You could as well. I must say that I am generally happy with the improvements made to the tax filing system. However, TAMIS is not fully ready for her new role. She is horribly slow at times – ‘sluggit’ kind of slow. Additionally, some of the automatic computation functions are not working. Nevertheless, it is soon time to pay Caesar what is his and I hope you all are on top of it.
(Marsha Hinds is public relations officer of the National Organization of Women. Email: [email protected])