‘Adopt A Girl’ program providing fuel for young athletes dreams

By Melissa Talbert September 10, 2020

Visionary founder, Sherneil Charlery, is at the heart of a fledgling initiative that it is hoped will blossom to produce top-class female athletes for the tiny island of St Lucia in the next few years.

More importantly, however, ‘Supporting Girls in Sports’ has targeted bringing hope and knowledge to underprivileged young girls, hoping to find a way to rise out of poverty through sports.

If Charlery could choose just one Jamaican athlete to help with the organisation’s ‘Adopt A Girl’ initiative, she admits it would be difficult.  Jamaica is renowned through the Caribbean and the perhaps the world for producing top-class athletes.

In the end, she settled on Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Khadija Shaw. “Our current group of girls is involved in football and track and field. I would choose Fraser-Pryce and Shaw, not only because they play the same sports as our girls, but because they share the same stories. Like them, our girls come from single-parent homes or are raised in violent communities,” Charely explained.

“Seeing people who were able to succeed, despite the obstacles they faced, would inspire our girls to continue giving out their best.”

The ‘Adopt A Girl’ initiative aims to assist underprivileged female athletes (11- 14 years old) who are unable to afford their sporting expenses, such as club fees, equipment, and uniform. Additionally, the girls are paired with an advisor (an older member of the organisation) who will mentor and help them balance school, sports, and their personal lives.

It’s easy for an up and coming athlete to spot an internationally acclaimed Jamaican athlete to identify with.  The list is long and varied. Take Elaine Thompson-Herah for instance. When asked what motivates her, she told Dalton Myers on the August 31st’s episode of the Drive Phase, “I remember when I was growing up, I was looking at Veronica Campbell-Brown, Merlene Ottey and they motivated me to work hard and reach where I’m at,” she said.

The young girls can also look for inspiration further home.  A recent SportsMax.tv article In Honour of Levern Spencer spoke about the accomplishments of the great St Lucian athlete.  The article pointed to Spencer as a role model and pointed out that she was the best St. Lucia has ever produced, adding that “the next generation of St Lucian athletes have a marker to chase.”

The ‘Supporting Girls in Sports’ organisation wishes to expand the initiative to other Caribbean islands in the next five years, but in the meantime, their ‘Adopt A Girl’ program, which has helped seven girls to date, is already ensuring St. Lucia has a brighter future in athletics. 

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

Related items

  • Ambris hunting for 100s, hoping to secure permanent spot in Windies squad Ambris hunting for 100s, hoping to secure permanent spot in Windies squad

    West Indies vice-captain for the One Day International (ODI) team Sunil Ambris is hoping to stake his claim for a regular place in the first-team squad, by scoring at least one 100 in the upcoming tour of Bangladesh.

    The 27-year-old Ambris was among several players unexpectedly named to the West Indies squad for the tour after 12 first-team players made themselves unavailable for the tour.  Prior to that Ambris had last played for the team in February of last year, on the team’s tour of Sri Lanka.  On that occasion, the player averaged 26 in three matches.  He was not selected to the team for either of the team’s previous tours to England or New Zealand.

    Ambris, in addition to providing support for less experienced players on the tour, hopes to push himself back in the conversation for regular selection.

    “This is the first tour that I’m actually confident that I will be starting.  So, I would like to use this tour to cement myself in the starting 11 for other tours,” Ambris told members of the media via an online press conference on Friday.

    “I’d love to get at least one hundred out of these three games, I think that would do me a lot of good,” he added.

      

  • Call from legendary Lara helped Fletcher turn around bad run of batting form Call from legendary Lara helped Fletcher turn around bad run of batting form

    Windies batsman, Andre Fletcher, has pointed to a call from legendary batsman Brian Lara as pivotal in helping to turn around his form in this season’s Big Bash League (BBL).

    On Thursday, Fletcher smashed a brutal 89 for just 49 balls to underpin the Melbourne Stars massive 111 run win over Adelaide Strikers.  The knock was timely for Fletcher as he had not passed 18 in his first nine BBL encounters.

    The 33-year-old had previously also performed below expectations in a low-scoring Caribbean Premier League (CPL), where he scored 211 from 12 games despite his team St Lucia Zouks making it to the final.  As it turns out, it was a call from the legendary West Indian batsman, who is on commentary duty at the BBL, which proved critical in helping Fletcher turn around that recent run of bad form.

    "He called me, and I was surprised, to be honest," Fletcher said following his explosive performance.

    "He was telling me that, looking from the outside, I've been striking the ball cleanly and he just told me to give myself that opportunity. Giving myself that chance and playing each ball on its merits,” he added.

    "I'm an aggressive player so there's no need to go out there and look to [over] power the ball. To be honest, that's what I did today.

    "I've met him before. He's a great guy. I told him over the phone, after what he told me I was like, 'So Brian, now I understand the reason you were so great'.

    "He told me, feel free to call him any time I wish to, he's there, he's open for anything and willing to give me advice."

  • 'WI selectors should not be fixated on conditions'- claims former fast bowler Gray 'WI selectors should not be fixated on conditions'- claims former fast bowler Gray

    Former West Indies fast bowler, Tony Gray, believes it is a mistake for selectors to get caught up with selecting teams based on conditions.

    Recently, Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors Roger Harper set off a firestorm with an explanation that promising fast bowler Chemar Holder had been left out of the Test squad for the Bangladesh tour, in order to include an extra spinner to exploit conditions.

    For some, the decision was all the more vexing considering the absence of Jason Holder, who was typically part and parcel of a four-prong pace bowling attack, and Chemar Holder’s promising debut in New Zealand where he took two wickets in trying circumstances.

    For his part, in addition to pointing out that Bangladesh were exceptional at handling spin, Gray pointed to the fact that a multitude of pace bowlers had done well on Asian pitches for several decades.

    “I think that they (selectors) are fixated on the conditions, you cannot be fixated on the conditions,” Gray told the Mason and Guest radio program.

    “I played my first Test series in Pakistan and I got 14 wickets in three games.  You want the mindset to be there.  If you are telling a young fast bowler, for example, who can bowl some 90 miles an hour deliveries, that you are not going to perform well because of bowling conditions that are not really suited to your pace and your style of bowling, then you are doing the wrong thing,” he added.

    “So, I think they have been fixated on conditions and there are other things to take note of for example the strengths of the opposition, the Bangladeshis are very adept at playing spin bowling.”

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.