Dr Cliff Bertrand

Dr Cliff Bertrand

Commentary by Dr Cliff Bertrand

Grenada Sports Hall of Fame. When!

Usain bolt multiple awards winner says “being recognized in your own country is always one of my proudest moments”

Grenada should think of those noble men and women who represented the nation before the advent of Kirani James and Alleyne Francique – The less fortunate world stars that fought the battle of the bulge to bring Grenada into prominence. They did so with raw talent as they fought for their country. Think about them. More importantly for the future stars of the nation, institute a hall of fame as a source of inspiration, motivation and history.

A  Sport Hall of Fame is dedicated to fostering an appreciation for the role sports play in contributing to the quality of life in a nation.

A Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, and community leaders who have brought fame or honor to their homeland through their involvement in sports.

Can you imagine that Kirani James will not be a recipient of this honor in his native Grenada?

He has won world championships at the youth, junior, and senior levels of an athletic career as well as 2012 Olympic 400 meters champion.

Can you believe that Alleyne Francique would not be a Hall of Famer for Grenada?

Born June 7, 1976 in St Andrew’s he is now retired and is the assistant track coach at Texas A & M University.

He is a two-time 400m world indoor champion in 2004 and 2006. He won the 400 meters gold medal at the 2003 CAC Championships. He won a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Grenada must check these Hall of Fame Program Components.

It will recognize those persons who have brought exceptional fame and honor to Grenada through their participation in their chosen sport; and excelled at a local, national or international level of competition.

Institute an Annual Awards Dinner as an avenue to induct and publicly honor inductees into the Hall of Fame and other notable contributors to the Grenada sports frontier.

Assemble a Hall of Fame committee whose members are responsible for determining the inductees to the Hall of Fame on an annual basis. Each member is entitled to one vote per category of candidates as slated by the nominating committee.

The Sport Hall of Fame committee meeting requires everyone in attendance to share one good piece of news with the rest of the group. It is a way to bring the group together, especially in its formative stages, but also a way to celebrate life. The meeting would start with smiles, laughs, congratulations and heartfelt responses.

This is both traditional and current. It ensures the future participation in Grenada sports. The effort to form a sports Hall of Fame is to recognize Grenada’s rich athletic legacy whose genesis dates to the early 1900s.

There must be an appointed task force to pursue the Hall of Fame destination objective.

Members of The Grenada Sport Hall of Fame committee should come from the ranks of residents, former athletes, athletes, coaches of primary, high school, and other levels, administrators and the private business sector.

Hall of Fame plaques on a Wall of Distinction should be on display at the stadium conference room and the exterior wall for public viewing, recognition and motivation. This gives the less fortunate access to the national pride and history!

Each year new, eager, young sports-minded citizens should be brought onto the managing board to insure that the interest in recognizing excellence in Grenada sports continues for many years to come.

To be considered for induction by a screening committee, a player should be fully retired from play for at least five years while a coach or administrator must be fully retired for at least five years or have been active full-time in his/her respective craft on the professional, primary/high school level for at least 15 years.

There should be no years of service criterion applied to those who have made a significant contribution to the game of his/her sport choice. The tendency to enshrine active participants and relatively obscure players is not good governance while omitting some accomplished players and coaches should be closely examined.

Sportswriters and commentators should be elected as full-fledged members of the respective Hall of Fame category.

Controversies have arisen over many aspects of the Hall’s voting procedures, including voter anonymity. While sportswriters select and debate their choices openly for the sports’ Halls of Fame, Grenada’s Hall of fame committee should not make the process transparent until the appropriate news release time.

A national hall of fame has provided fascinating and thrilling stories that are central to our lives, even today. The deep seated origins and wide-reaching lessons of halls of fame have built the foundation for modern-day sports legacies.

Take an in-depth exploration into the Halls of Fame of the USA, Canada, Europe, Jamaica, Trinidad &Tobago etc. and learn what makes these famous “Halls” stories so important, distinctive and able to withstand the test of time.

Discover how, despite geographical implausibility’s, many stories from across the ocean share themes, morals, and similarities in the “HALLS” perpetuating history. Grenada Hall of Fame! When, if not now!

Editor’s Note: A previous commentary in 2012 highlighted A National Sports Hall of Fame

About Dr Cliff Bertrand

Dr Cliff Bertrand is fortunate to have been on both sides of the sporting and education divide, as a Trinidad & Tobago Olympian and a New York City School Administrator. He did his undergraduate work at New York University, graduate work at Brooklyn College, New York University and Columbia University where he accumulated quite a vocabulary of experiences. Arima-born and bred, Dr Bertrand was moulded at Arima Boys RC, Ideal and Progressive High Schools, where he excelled in football and track. He was a member of the only West Indies team which took part in the 1960 Rome Olympics and returned four years later at the Tokyo Games, Japan, as a member of the T&T team. He was also the founder of the Abilene Wildcats Athletic Club and a former NCAA Division One head coach.

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of GrenadaSports.

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