By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-Minister of Sports in St. Kitts and Nevis Shawn Richards has issued a challenge to female athletes in the federation to ensure they have a larger presence representing the Federation.
Mr. Richards, speaking to young athletes recently at the opening of the TDC interschool Championships, indicated that last year while in Rio for the 2016 Olympics only one female featured on the team and challenged the young female athletes to make an improvement by 2020.
“St. Kitts and Nevis had a team comprising of at least seven to eight persons and only one female was amongst the team. I say that to say to you, that the next Olympics would be held in 2020 and I am personally hoping that at the 2020 Olympics, not only will we see more athletes representing St. Kitts and Nevis, but we would also see more females representing St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said.
Richards further challenged all the athletes participate in events beyond the track and would want to see athletes also competing in the field disciplines.
“In 2016 we only had athletes participating in track and as such, we would want to be participating in more than track events in 2020. I would want to see athletes participating in more than just track events at the 2020 Olympics,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minster also reassured the athletes of the government commitment to their development
“You have millions of dollars invested in this facility (Kim Collins Athletics Stadium), you have TDC which you heard has been sponsoring this event for the last 40 years,” he said.
He added that apart from the financial investments the athletes have coaches, parents, supporters, teachers and various other who continue to give you support.
The Sports Minister urged the young athletes that despite all the investment the only factor that will be decisive if they reach to the international level is their determination.
“You can have the support of the government, you can have the support of your parents…but at the end of the day you will only reach the Olympics if you are determined to get there”, he added.
“Your determination will be the greatest single factor in determining how far you reach in sports.”
The only female athlete of a eight member team representing St. Kitts and Nevis in the 2016 Olympic was Tameka Williams. All the athletes participated in sprint events.