Vice-President of the BVI Athletics Association Ralston ‘Grandfather’ Henry has pointed out that the track and field coaches in the territory need to be respected and acknowledged for the work they are putting in with the young athletes.
Speaking at the celebration ceremony for the young athletes that finished third in the medal table at the 49th staging of the CARIFTA Games in Kingston, Jamaica, Henry said the coaches tend to be forgotten in the midst of all the recognition and celebration happening.
He said Adaejah Hodge is an example of an athlete who was nurtured in the Virgin Islands
. Henry noted many people think Hodge was built in the United States, but she had her foundation set in the BVI as a youth athlete before moving to Georgia after the 2017 hurricanes.
“She has we lemongrass, we coconut bread and we fungi and fish. She was built in the BVI. She left here with the base. We gave her the base. If you know sports, she had the base from right here,” Henry said.
“They went and they search up that she born Puerto Rico but nah, she was based here in the Virgin Islands
and these kids have that base. If you see what is going on, these kids have the base. These coaches here need to get their respect. They are putting in the work. They are out here day in and day out,” the BVIAA Vice-President continued.
He mentioned that several times, he has to turn on the stadium lights for the coaches and although he might get in trouble for it one day, he will continue to do it as the coaches are putting in the work and the athletes are representing and advertising the territory when they compete.
“This little British Virgin Islands when that camera goes on those children’s chests, that is our country being advertised. That is what we want for the BVI. We are going to keep that. So, guys, I want to ask you all to keep supporting those children, keep it up,” he said.
“You have to believe in these children. I believe in them. I see the work that they put in and I am asking you all, don’t jump on their bandwagon when we win medals. Jump on we bandwagon now. Because I am one of them who will always fight for them,” Henry continued.