Sports

Kimani Melius One Step Away: Is He Really Getting The Support Needed?

Image: Saint Lucia’s Kimani Melius is among the squad. (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)

WEST Indies cricket camp selectee, Saint Lucia-born Kimani Melius, a student of Babonneau Secondary School, is in the spotlight and strange enough this time around he did not score a century, but has been a subject of discussion.

Image of Kimani Melius (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)
Kimani Melius (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)

Presently, he has the highest individual score of 275 runs in the Massy United Insurance Under- 19 schools tournament, which also represents the highest score by a Saint Lucian in any form of the game. He is also the youngest cricketer to make the Saint Lucia senior men’s squad.

The talented 16-year-old top order batsman has been selected to be part of a training camp ahead of the West Indies’ defense of their Under-19 World Cup title, from January 13 to February 3, 2018.

He has represented the West Indies in youth competition before in England and is also one of the leading run-scorers for the Windward Islands Under-17 team.

The camp is scheduled from December 5-20 and will determine whether Kimani is selected. It will be the West Indies’ final preparation in the Caribbean before traveling to New Zealand.

As such, discussion has been ongoing in the public sphere about the apparent lack of support given to the heir apparent to Daren Sammy, by the Department of Youth Development and Sports.

However, cricket coach attached with the Department, Alton Crafton, said a number of steps have been taken to assist Kimani.

“The Department ensured that Kimani was placed in a physiotherapy programme with Bayside Services to guarantee that he is in great physical condition ahead of the camp,” noted Crafton.

He also explained that in addition to financing the services of physiotherapist Kim Jackson, the Department confirmed that they were in contact with the Babonneau Secondary School to ensure the payment of his CXCs.

Apart from this being done, an official from the Department of Youth Development and Sports also explained that by virtue of the fact that Kimani achieved this milestone, he will benefit from initiatives under government’s “Elite Athletes Programme”. As explained by government officials, under this programme Kimani will continue to benefit from working with the physiotherapist, receive gear, and obtain a financial grant before he travels.

By all indications, an account has been opened in aid of Kimani and officials from the Department indicated that they welcome communities coming together in aid of their own. They, however, indicate that people who have said the Ministry has done nothing are either misinformed or premature with their assertions.

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