by Arley Gill
Once again Grenada has proven to the world that, despite the size of population and lack of resources, a people can compete successfully with persons from far more rich and powerful nations.
Anderson Peters’ gold medal at the recently held World Athletic Championships in Doha, Qatar, not only glitters around his neck, but it also shines a light on the aspiration of every talented youth in small impoverished nations, showing them that they can achieve their dreams.
Kirani James is no doubt a trailblazer. A World and Olympic champion, Kirani remains an inspiration to Peters and others. I dare say, we must be all heartened by Kirani’s performance in Doha, even if he did not medal. Truth be told, I had a mini-celebration when he made it into the finals. Nursing an ailment and grieving the death of his mom, it is not an easy feat to compete at world level. That youth – Kirani Zeno James – has a heart of a lion!
Lindon Victor’s performance in Doha is more than commendable. His discipline is not only non-traditional for Grenada but also for the entire English-speaking Caribbean. This speaks of the wealth of talent the young man possesses. Tokyo, home of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, here he comes!
Congrats to all our competitors. You did us proud!
In the same breath, I cannot understand the Grenada Broadcasting Network. I haven’t heard an excuse, reason or an apology, but I am at a lost with the coverage on Sunday last. GBN certainly did not have exclusive rights for broadcasting Caribbean Premier League(CPL) cricket, because SportsMax was carrying the game live. So, I cannot understand why is it that they did not see if fit to carry the track and field championships live, especially as a Grenadian was competing in the final of an event. Granted, GBN gave us a peep when the time was nigh. However, sports enthusiasts and patriots were scrambling to get the championship final online because NBC had a notice for viewers from Grenada to go to GBN. Whatever the reason, GBN was found wanting. Needless to say, I find the corporation unpatriotic.
Peters’ success also put into sharp focus the impasse between the government and the Grenada Union of Teachers. Last year we had no proper inter-collegiate meet and no secondary school sports, which is the platform for Peters, James, Victor, among others. Can someone honestly say to me that this is not hurting our talented youths? Let me say this, I am
no expert in track and field; but, whatever program we have, it is working. The success is there for all to see. I respectfully urge our teachers, regardless of everything, let us do it for our children.
Amidst the World Championships victory celebration, allow me to mourn the passing of a great athlete of the past. He was not only an athlete but also was a renowned medical doctor, first-class musician and culture man: Dr Trevor Friday.
I first met Doc properly on the Cathedral steps about 20 years ago. I knew him before, of course, but that is when we really started to engage. He made some statements about carnival with regards to some changes, one of which was to move Dimanche Gras from the Sunday. He proffered an interesting analysis and I responded to him through this medium. So when we met, he laughed – the Dr Friday laugh. He said, “Arley, boy, you that write that? Ah like you. Hahaha.’’ We then discussed culture on the Cathedral’s steps for the next two hours. I don’t know if he abandoned what he had set out to do.
That was the beginning of a great friendship. I would spend hours with Doc in his music studios, listening and reviewing music and discussing carnival. I remember he recorded a song of his own, and a year or two later I did likewise. At the time of his passing we still argued as to which song was better. Could you imagine two men – who really cannot sing – having that kind of argument.
Dr Trevor Friday’s contribution to national development is unquestionable. In the areas of sports, culture and medicine he served us well. I mourn his passing but I celebrate his life. To my mind, he did it his way. May his soul Rest In Peace!