The drive to be the best and love for St. Kitts and Nevis was the common thread running through the presentations when the Silver Jubilee Athletic Stadium was renamed the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium on Sunday, April 05.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Sports, the Honourable Shawn Richards, recognized sprint icon Kim Collins as a sports ambassador for St. Kitts and Nevis, emphasizing that he is an excellent role model for young people in the federation.
“Do not see yourselves as being limited to track and field, do not see yourselves as being limited to your countries, but see yourselves as ambassadors of your country,” Minister Richards stressed. “See yourselves as individuals who can aspire to achieve, to achieve nothing but the highest for your individual countries.”
Kim Collins, the athlete of the moment, graciously accepted the stadium being renamed in his honour. In his customary humble fashion, he acknowledged the support of his mother and all of the people who helped him along his career path. Special mention was made of his wife who he said was his athletic coach and a source of strength. The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), that funded the construction of the stadium, as well as the new government of national unity, that has put strong emphasis on youth development and recognition of our sporting icons, came in for acknowledgement and high praise. He took the time to read the names of the St. Kitts and Nevis successful athletes up to that point in time, who had placed in the 44th Annual CARIFTA Games that were currently taking place.
“I want to see young people go out and be their best,” was the desire expressed by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) 2003 100 metre world champion, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Sunday. Still a successful and top sprinter on the track and field circuit at his age, Kim Collins is a national sprint champion and the 100 metre record holder for St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris also labeled Mr. Collins as a role model who epitomised hard work, discipline and sacrifice. He gave the assurance that the government of national unity would ensure the success of local athletes.
“We will pursue policies that will encourage, engage and recognize our sports men and women to ensure that they can be facilitated and motivated to continue to make their mark internationally,” Prime Minister Harris declared. “And assuredly to put our beloved country in the eyes of the world, as a home not only of sand and sun, but also a home of proud talented and driven people.”