NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — Mr. Jamir Claxton, Director of the Department of Sports, in the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Nevis, says he plans to use his recent appointment to the newly-established Advisory Board for the Boys’ Mentorship Programme to spur primary schoolers on Nevis to keep their interest in sports.
The Sports Director who will serve as the sports and youth representative among seven other appointees to the board, made the comment when he spoke to the Department of Information on May 25, 2022. He said over the years, sports has proven to be a vehicle of excellence for athletes from Nevis both locally and overseas.
“Scholarships is one of the major benefits that can be derived from participating in sports. Over the years we have seen a number of athletes from here in Nevis who have gone to get an education due to whether athletics, football or whatever.
“I can, off the top of my head speak of Adrian Williams who went to university on a scholarship for field events particularly javelin. The persons like Aljay Newton who went to GC Foster [College of Physical Education & Sport] in Jamaica and he played football there while earning an education, and we could go far back as persons like Timothy Caines, Shirmon Caines who all had scholarships; Shirvon Greene who also had an opportunity to have a scholarship in the US at Monroe [College] and he is now a coach at Munroe. So there are many opportunities for our boys to excel in sports and benefit through education especially,” he said.
However, Mr. Claxton hastened to add that when it comes to sports in terms of scholarships and opportunities to make national teams, participate in academies around the world, students must meet the necessary requirements.
“Those institutions usually look at what the athlete or the player would have done in the secondary school phase of his athletic career, and thus, we have to now discuss ways of putting the necessary structures in place to ensure that the guys keep participating in sports.
“Of course, it’s going to be a collaborative effort not only between the athletes and their coaches but society as a whole and when I say society, that includes parents, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Gender Affairs, government agencies, private sector because at the end of the day, no one entity here in Nevis could ensure putting the necessary structure in place to make sure our boys excel in sport. It has to be a collaborative effort,” he said.
Mr. Claxton stated that his plan is to focus on the 20 percent of primary school athletes who need the extra push to continue throughout secondary school.
“About 80 percent of those who are very good in primary school tend to go on to play in high school and also as adults but it’s the others who participate in primary school who have potential, may not have been the top of the top, those are the ones we have to ensure they continue to participate in sports, and so one of my roles on the board is to help advise especially among the boys, and help put programmes in place that will provide the necessary support to keep these athletes engaged in sporting and recreational activity after primary school,” he said.
Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), in presenting the instruments of appointment to the Advisory Board, singled out Mr. Claxton and commended him for his role in sports.
“Our youngsters are taking an interest in sports and I’m happy to see you because we will need mentors in the sports area, as well, for them to continue. We see them excelling at the primary level but then you ask yourself ‘What happens when they get to first form? What happens at the next level?’ So I’m happy that I’m seeing you, that you will continue a mentorship programme for sports beyond primary school,” she said.
All eight members of the Advisory Board are volunteers who are sitting in various capacities as civil society, private sector, religion, education, and counsellor representatives.