Under the theme “Your Success is Your Responsibility,” the Elite Track and Field Club staged their annual awards ceremony Saturday evening at Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa.
President of the Club Dona Emmanuel after welcoming everyone, provided a synopsis of 2017. The year began with the formation of a new executive with Emmanuel retaining her presidency. She mentioned the club’s participation at local track and field competitions and said: “Our performances at these competitions were commendable, but there is always room for improvement. The majority of our athletes recorded personal bests throughout the season.”
She made special mention of Leema Leon who represented the club at the Carifta Games and Windward Islands School Games.
Emmanuel acknowledged it was not all cool runnings for Elite. She said: “Our numbers shrank this year because a number of our older athletes had schedules, that prevented them from remaining involved and a few of them got pulled into other sports. This is a problem facing track and field locally and that needs to be addressed. We need to make the sport attractive to our youth, so they will not be lured away. I guess not having a proper venue for track and field also adds to that as well.”
The president questioned the desire of some athletes who look for the easy way out. “As most people in here will attest to, track and field is a difficult sport and a number of our athletes try to make shortcuts”, she remarked. “They show up in January and disappear in June, all the while expecting to be champions. Very few persons are able to demonstrate lasting success with that formula. We need our athletes to understand that there are no shortcuts to success and that success is their responsibility.”
Turing her attention to the club hosting their Fourth Elite Invitational Meet in 2017, Emmanuel said: “It has become one of the most anticipated events on the athletic calendar. From the onset, the purpose of this meet was to deliver a quality event on the local calendar, give our athletes opportunities to compete against persons their own age, recognize athletes after the meet and to get persons interested and involved in track and field again.”
Emmanuel who is sky high when it comes to this competition went on to say: “We wanted a meet with a difference. We believe we have met these objectives as this meet has surpassed our expectations. While we are always looking to improve, we are happy with the event we put on and look forward to producing a better one in years to come.”
She has reason to be upbeat. Last year 260 athletes registered for the 62 event meet which saw 11 clubs, three schools and three commercial teams taking part.
After thanking parents, organizations and sponsors, the President proudly announced that the 2018 Elite Invitational Meet is set to take place April 22 at Mindoo Phillip Park.
In closing, Emmanuel thanked everyone for their support now and in the future and wished them a prosperous 2018.
Guest speaker and former 2013 Sportswoman of the Year Makeba Alcide needed no introduction, nevertheless, Kishon Esnard spent a few minutes listing her accomplishments which includes being the OECS and National Record holder in the pentathlon, national indoor shot put record holder, placing ninth in the pentathlon at the 2016 World Indoor Championships. The Arkansas University graduate who is an All American having been the South Eastern Conference Indoor pentathlon Indoor champion.
Alcide who has never been one to toot her own horn, or for that matter have anyone else do it for her, spoke about overcoming her shyness to become a sports presenter on Winners TV. She is grateful for the opportunity through the show and said: “To reach the young populous is what I really wanted to do. Kids, I love them and this show is a way to reach them.”
Alcide told the audience, “I often ask the athletes I work with what do you want to achieve in your sport and the usual response is I want to get a scholarship.”
She continued: “I am not saying that’s a bad goal, but it is too vague a goal and I always send them back to contemplate their decision, because after you get that scholarship what is your goal then.”
In closing, Alcide reinforced the evening’s theme and said: “As we leave 2017 behind all its disappointments and success, I wish to congratulate all of you on your achievements so far. I pray that in 2018 you continue on your journey to becoming your best. If you remember nothing else from tonight, remember that you are responsible for who you are and who you will become. Thank you.”
Following a brief dance routine by two female club members, awards were presented the first being Certificates of Appreciation followed by National Athlete awardee, Neema Leon; Leadership Award, Ethan James and Jade Emmanuel; Academic Awards (Common Entrance), Gervan Joseph; Secondary School Award, Aviona Edmund; CSCE Award, Armani Modeste; Most Improved Athlete, Ethan James; Male Athlete of the Year, Ethan James; Senior Athlete of the Year,