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Team Belize Powerlifting Association arrive with no hero’s welcome

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Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2022. 9:35 am CST.

By Audrey Matura: I and the Murillo’s were the biggest fan at the airport. While waiting there I was asking questions, observing, checking and could not fail to notice the contrast in treatment of our own by our own.

The dancehall artist that arrived had its own little fan base…. He was even given special treatment at immigration and customs. He was even jumped ahead in line of our athletes. Knowing me, you all know I was mad, but decided to play it cool until now I write about it.

So here are my thoughts:

1. Our athletes promote a level of positivity that dancehall artist will never do nor comprehend.

2. As the dancehall dude got off the plane he jumps on a high powered motorbike and speeds around the parking area at the airport and acts reckless but the crowd goes wild.

3. Our athletes on the other hand were each delivered certificates of participation from the North American powerlifting federation, but there was no one to cheer them on as they are officially recognized as professional athletes!

4. Of course I hope it’s out of shame that no government official or sports council official showed up …. Because the minister made all his lame excuses for why it was too late to help, but donors who heard our plea never felt it’s too late and quickly stepped forward with their kind donations making this trip possible.

5. I could see they got much attention and adulation abroad, just to come home to a different mode and vibe …. Because not even the local media was interested in their story …. It didn’t bleed so it didn’t lead the headlines.

6. Except for me personally rooting for them and going live on fB to report their arrival and hear them speak in excitement… they knew the love from Belize was not there.

Yet I am so proud to see 6 youths ages 21 to 31 work together in a foreign country and represent us despite limited resources and support from home. I proud to see them wave the flag of the country they love but did not love them back in return as they deserve. I am proud to see my multi-cultural youths blind to their race and colour and seeing only young men and women with the same goal. I am proud of them because unlike the foreign dancehall artist (nothing personal against him) they sending a positive message. They not glorify violence and a culture of sexual exploitation of women through music …. Oh no!!!! They are lifting the bar of excellence for our youths and lifting weights!

They are strong in body mind and soul and promoting a very healthy lifestyle. They are heroes who came home ready to get back in the gym and workout for the next competition! The president Khalid Usher told me he wants to make a bid to host the 2025 NAPF in Belize. They seeing growth and expansion of their powerlifting influence in this country. They have a vision while our government is visionless and does not see them.

However, from my end, I see greatness in what they do … I see leaders in them …. I see hope in them.

As part of the delegation the two older competitors, both over 50 years participated in the masters. They are Robert MC Williams and Alida Wright Sharp, both of whom worked with the young team and fitted right in under the leadership of the youthful president. These two masters competitors are an inspiration to us older folks and they too should have been greeted with such admiration as they remind us that it’s never too late or too old to be active, healthy and strong.

I have said my peace …. Now I call on the government to give these athletes the listening ear they have sought since their inception…. From their first letter to government … Give them proper uniforms and all the financial and moral support and have them travel to schools and neighborhoods countrywide to recruit other youths so we give our youths a positive outlet and an option other than guns, drugs, violence and an early death.

I have shared my thoughts and I pray it reaches the eyes and ears of Johnny Briceno, Rodwell Ferguson Sr. and Ian Cal. Let these leaders show true leadership and do more than just a photo opt with them!!!!

 

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