Too little being done to combine education and sport
---CARICOM Assistant Secretary General By Frederick Halley
Guyana Chronicle
December 18, 2001

CARICOM Assistant Secretary General Dr Edward Greene is of the opinion that too little is being done to combine education and sport in a manner that is the norm in the United States and to a lesser extent Europe.

According to Dr Greene, most of the Caribbean’s major successes in world athletes - the Michael Gilkes, Donald Quarrie, Ato Boldon, Merlene Ottey, 2000 gold medal relay team - have come from the organisation of sports through education. “The model is there for us to adopt and adapt,” he pointed out.

Delivering the feature address at the Guyana Cricket Board annual Achievement Awards Ceremony last Tuesday night at the Umana Yana, Dr Greene spoke on, among other topics, “cricket as an evolving process of learning: adjustment to change.

Dr Greene pointed out that the model of twinning education and sport is like any other learning process; it requires developing competences at various stages and it requires having access to opportunities at the various stages.

On basic essentials of skills training, Dr Greene said the kiddies cricket carnivals that have been promoted island wide and in Guyana is a good example but must be converted into more rigorous disciplined approaches at the primary school level.

Dr Greene felt that perfecting the art at the highest level is a requirement as weaknesses are exploited as soon as they are discovered by other teams that have now been utilising the available technology to enhance the planning and preparation for test and one-day internationals. “It is in this level of the art that we are more recently lagging.”

The deficiency, Dr Greene said, is partly due to the lack of a professional environment that provides for continuous learning. “Such an environment was provided in the 1960s and 1970s in the English County cricket that engaged our players as professionals.

The Assistant Secretary General said those players learnt the game by playing under various conditions and being tested in various compartments.

"In Clive Lloyd during the period Conquest, only Larry Gomes was not involved as a professional in English County cricket. Similarly, in Richards' team, maybe two or three at most were non-professionals either in England or Australia.

There is need therefore, Dr Greene said to establish regional alternatives which the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), to its credit, is pursuing in the expanded Busta Cup series. "But obviously it is not sufficient. And obviously we no longer have collective warriors. Now we have mostly men who put their tails between their legs."