Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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SKN Athletics: Give our children a chance

– Please don’t suffer the little children

By SKN special contributor

BASSETERRE, St Kitts – There seems a power struggle in SKN Athletics that is causing our country’s young athletes not just to suffer, but also to lose much-deserved opportunities to demonstrate their unquestionable talents abroad.

Because of the infighting among the leaders, our country’s flag is flying at half-mast instead of above the podiums of our region and the world.

Many of the parents, seeing their children upset and in tears, are demanding that SKN Athletics should immediately get its house in order and focus on the future of these young and very talented athletes like De’Cheynelle Thomas.

Young De’Cheynelle, at 14, ran in Carifta’s 15/16 age group and did extremely well, finishing third. Now that she had an opportunity to compete against her peers and almost certainly win, she and the other children were told that seemingly none of them would be going anywhere soon to compete.

In De’Cheynelle’s case it was both tragic and pathetic.

In February 2023, SKN Athletics was asked to facilitate De’ Cheynelle’s participation in two regional meets as part of her preparation for the 2023 Carifta Games. This request was denied.

In June 2023, SKN Athletics was asked to allow De’ Cheynelle to compete, this time in the Open Category at St Kitts and Nevis National Championships on Sunday, June 11 as the higher level of competition would be beneficial to her development. This was denied and De’ Cheynelle had to compete in the Under 15 Category which is no competition for her.

Now, she was not entered in the “NACAC AGE GROUP (Under 13 and 15) CHAMPIONSHIPS” which is scheduled for July 15 and July 16, 2023, in the Dominican Republic. The date for final entries for this event has already passed.

We understand and can see that a war for leadership is taking place between two of the leaders of SKN Athletics.

Despite being told to pick a team for the tournament and receiving recommendations, a decision was made on behalf of SKN Athletics not to participate.

Despite the availability of funding and support from [our] government and other organisations, especially those that have annually supported the Schools’ Championship, one group in SKN Athletics pulled the switch on them and left the children and their hopes in total darkness.

As one parent said: “These people who are fighting the president of SKN Athletics are cutting off some great opportunities for our children and our country. In trying to spite the face of the institution of which they are part, and bring down the leader they had put in charge, they are destroying the organisation and the athletic future of our children.”

In the meantime, in the words of the calypso, we must all think about the children – not later, but now!



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