Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Knights share formula for success


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Three of Barbados’ cricketing icons have given the island’s sportspeople a simple formula for success – discipline, strong work ethic and preparation.

Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Wesley Hall identified these values in playing a major part in their outstanding careers during an onstage Conversation With The Knights during the 35th annual National Sports Council awards ceremony at the Frank Collymore Hall on Saturday night.

While answering questions from master of ceremonies Pearson Bowen, the trio offered important lessons to the young generation of sporting talent interspersed with moments of humour that entertained a packed hall.

“Talent is important but it is not the only thing. You need to have some discipline and a good work ethic,” Sir Wes told the audience.

“That augments with the talent. If you do that, I think that you will do well. In Barbados, we’ve got some fantastic young people. We need to get behind them and encourage them because they are the future.”

Sir Wes, who has served the game as a player and administrator in varying roles, including a term as a West Indies Cricket Board president, also emphasised the value of the basics.

“These days, we do not understand that you have to do the little things right. My grandmother used to tell me you have do the little things right – practice makes perfect. That is true but I tell you something, you have to practise the right thing because if you practise the wrong thing, you will end up perfectly wrong.

“I see fellows practising and bowling from 20 [yards] and it amazes everybody why they bowl no-balls. Why practise bowling from 20 when you should be bowling from 22,” he added.

Before the knights took to the stage, the audience was treated to a video presentation that included flashbacks to their playing days.

Sir Garry, regarded as the greatest all-rounder the game has ever seen and once the record holder for the highest Test score, also noted the value of proper preparation.

“One of the things that I’ve always felt is that the youngsters have talent, no matter what sport it is. One of the things they must concentrate on . . . . Whenever they go to practice, because they know they can’t get out, they try to throw the bat at the ball and hit it all over the place,” he said.

“When they come to play in a match, they want to be able to do things when they haven’t really trained that way. It is very important that whatever you do, you train properly, make sure you do the right thing.”

The legends received a standing ovation after their 25-minute session and were also presented with tokens of appreciation from Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley.

During his address, the minister lauded the stellar careers of the trio.

“As I acknowledge the significant contributions of our athletes over the last year, I wish to salute the legacy of our knights who are here this evening – Sir Garry, Sir Everton, Sir Wes – you gentlemen have made outstanding contributions to the sporting landscape of Barbados and are deserving of all the accolades that are heaped on you. Barbados, in my view is lucky to have benefitted from what you have done for the game of cricket. Your legacy will continue to be an inspiration to our nation,” Lashley said. (HG)


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