Time for us to clearly define ourselves as Caribbean People

Time for us to clearly define ourselves as Caribbean People

Dear Friends/Colleagues
Over the several decades of our involvement in sport the peoples of the Caribbean have experienced much difficulty in seeking to define ourselves. Small wonder that VS Naipaul once characterised us as ‘Mimic Men’, highlighting the confusion that pervades the region as we wrestle with crafting our own identity.

For sure the advanced industrial nations merely define as small and innocuous, highly dependent on them for just about everything, including our identity. The literature in different disciplines have characterised us as many things including Smith, Beckford and Best, as plantation society, another Smith labelled us a plural society while Edward Kamau Brathwaite argued that we are a creole society. Orlando Patterson suggests that we are struggling to become, to define ourselves because of the dehumanizingly debilitating experiences through which we have passed for successive generations.

Even though we have produced Nobel laureates, we continue to be decidedly unclear as to how we must define ourselves. Each time we appear, as a region, to make advances in this regard we find ourselves quickly retreating into a cocoon of convenient acceptance of how others define us.

But sport has always offered us incredible opportunities to show the world that we are capable of defining ourselves and leaving our indelible stamp on the several competitions in vastly different cultural environments.

When a Caribbean athlete medals at the Olympic Games, for the peoples of our region, his nationality becomes that of the region, not just of the country whose colours he wore. His identity becomes truly Caribbean. That is a reality we must capture and forever sustain.

The challenge we face as Caribbean peoples is harnessing the power of our sporting achievements to galvanise an enduring commitment to building bridges of regional unity across the water, languages and colonial legacies that we too often allow to divide us.

We must not allow the concept of Independence from the colonising power to deny our capacity to see our immense potential in pursuit of excellence as a collective – peoples of the Caribbean.

We must convince ourselves that we are human beings, possessive of an identity, dignity and worth as peoples any and everywhere. We are as capable of excellence as others across the globe.

The many lessons that we can learn from sport and our successes in the global environment must propel us to the beginning of a new phase in Caribbean solidarity and unity.

Blessings all!

Snapshots from  the Women in Stride 5k event held Saturday, March 11th, hosted by the Belize Women in Sport Commission. Celebrating women breaking barriers and pushing boundaries in sports!
The Gender & Sports committee of the Suriname Olympic Committee (SOC) organized the Coach She Coaches workshop for female coaches on March 3, 2023, for International Women’s Day. The well-attended workshop started at the Olympic House following an opening address by SOC Treasurer, Manodj Hindori. During their introduction, the participants talked about their greatest successes as a coach. During the workshop, they also gave their opinion orally and in writing about what they would like to see improved for female coaches in sports.