February 28, 2014
Kineke Alexander makes track call

This country’s 2013 Sports Personality Kineke Alexander has added her voice to those bellowing for St Vincent and the Grenadines to get a synthetic track.{{more}}

The US-based Alexander, who had the title bestowed on her at the National Sports Awards ceremony, held February 15, told SEARCHLIGHT: “I am using this opportunity to call on the Government and sporting organizations in St Vincent and the Grenadines to get us a track…. We have so many young and talented individuals who fall by the wayside just because the incentives aren’t there to pursue their dreams.”

Her call follows a string of other former national track and field athletes, as well as former and present administrators of the sport, to get the show going.

In 2012, the realization of a synthetic track seemed imminent with the visit of Michael Tovar, a representative of Mondo, who, on the initiative of Team Athletics SVG, examined possible sites at the Sion Hill Playing Field and the proposed national stadium project at the Diamond Industrial Estate.

However, nothing concrete, except for some probable designs and specifications came from Tovar’s visit.

But for Alexander, track and field goes beyond competition, as she is advising young athletes to maximise the opportunities afforded them.

“… I want to reach out to the up and coming young Vincentians and say to you, no matter your situation, keep fighting and pushing through … Your parents might use their last dollar to send you to school; please don’t take it for granted; always strive to be a leader,” Alexander pleaded.

And, Alexander said she is a living testimony of such a situation.

She recalled that her mother was a promising track athlete, but was unable to complete her dreams, as she got pregnant with her.

Alexander said that she vowed to somehow make amends for her mother’s misfortunes.

With help of then foster parents Dexter and Loitier Rose, Alexander, originally from Glenside in the Marriaqua Valley, after excelling on the local scene, left St Vincent and the Grenadines for the United States of America to pursue an athletic scholarship in 2005.

A former student of the St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua, Alexander became an instant hit at the University of Iowa, as she won championships, set school records, and was named to a remarkable eight all-American teams – one for each semester. Among her list of accolades, Alexander became Iowa’s fourth NCAA individual champion and the first sprinter to win a national title.

But even more important than Alexander’s athletic achievements were her academic accomplishments – she earned a degree in history and international studies.

Alexander can be considered St Vincent and the Grenadines’ most decorated female athlete, having won medals at Junior Carifta, Central American and Caribbean (CAC) championships, as well as the NACAC open championships.

She copped this country’s first track gold medal at the CAC championships last year, when she won the 200m in Mexico. Also at those championships, Alexander gained a bronze medal in the 400m.

Alexander has also represented St Vincent and the Grenadines at the World Championships, the World Youth Championships, the Olympic Games, the Pan American Championships, the Commonwealth Games, the World Indoor championships, among others including sub-regional meets such as the OECS Invitational. (RT)