Olympic gold medal winner and world record holder in the 400m, South African Wayde van Niekerk, says he has a lot more to prove in the sport despite last year’s 43.03 run at the Olympic Games.Van Niekerk, who is set to return to the island for the June 10 Jamaica National Racers Grand Prix set for the National Stadium, also told the IAAF’s Inside Athletics that he wants to pay more attention to the 200m, which he described as his real love.”At the age of 24, achieving a record that’s been there forever, I feel like I still have so much more to prove,” said van Niekerk. “This is the beginning of so much more that I can do as an athlete, so why not believe?””The 200m is my favourite event. It’s why I do track and field, because I want to achieve so much in the 200, but due to circumstances and injuries, I didn’t get the opportunity to get into that door,” van Niekerk added.MORE OPPORTUNITY”But now that I achieved what I have in the 400m, it gives me more opportunity to focus on the 200m and even the 100m. I really enjoy doing both.”The 24 year-old, who also won 400m gold at the World Championships in 2015 has already been busy this season, running 10.10 in the 100m at a small meet in South Africa.”Where I come from, South Africa, you always think United States, Jamaica or Europe. That’s where you need to make it and where you can start breaking barriers,” said van Niekerk.”That’s become a kind of habit in South Africa, where once you finish with school, you go over to the USA.”I always had something deep inside of me telling me ‘you can do it right here in South Africa’ and inspire more South Africans to do it.”
…ready to adopt moreBy Andrew CarmichaelThe saying “cheaper by the dozen” may be a lucrative motto for those in the trading industry; but for a mother of 12, “cheap” is a far cry from what she experiences with her children.Audrey Ramsay takes care of seven children who were born to other women in addition to the five she has birthed; yet she would not mind taking in another child if the situation arises.And her husband? He has no objection to increasing the size of their already large family. “My wife likes children, and if my wife wants to adopt another child, (I have) no problem,” he declared.The couple lives at Light town Village, East Bank Berbice, and earn a living out of farming. But more importantly, Audrey is the reason six children are having a normal life, let alone being able to go to school, after being abandoned by their birth-mothers.Adopting children was not always in her life’s plan. Explaining how the family acquired its size, this special mother said, “These children, their mother likes to sport and drink; she is an alcoholic. And a day she came with them and said that her family (had) put her out and she wanted somewhere to stay, or she (would) have to give away the children.”Audrey said the troubled mother threatened to take the children’s lives; and with a big heart, she took in three of the four children and the other went to stay with another family. Shortly after that, the children’s mother was murdered in 2014.However, that was not the first time Audrey had taken in someone’s children to nurture as her own. It all started a decade ago, when she took in the first set of three children.Audrey and her husband in the garden“Their father is my cousin, and the mother go away and leave him with the children, and so he go in the bush to do gold work to get money to look after them. He left them lock up in the house, and so police lock him up… That is how the children end up at me,” she explained.Audrey Ramsay and her husband (right) of Lightown Village, East Bank Berbice are warm selfless individuals who loves and cares for a family of 12 childrenAt the time when she took in her nieces and nephews, Audrey already had her five children. She explained that she has been mothering the trio siblings for 14 years now. “When the three of them were small, they weren’t going to school. The big one was not going to nursery at the time, but now she is going to high school.”The last lot of the seven adopted children is a three-year-old from the village. She took in this child as recent as April this year.The ages of the seven children whom Audrey and her husband took in range from 25 years old to three years old. Her five biological children are between the ages of 25 years and 15 years.Apart from their small vegetable garden, Audrey also makes pointer brooms to sell in order to earn money to support the needs of her children, which includes their schooling.There is no secondary school on the East Bank of Berbice, and so the three siblings have to travel all the way to New Amsterdam to attend school; and this costs the family more than $600 per day.Currently, 11 of the 12 children attend school. Come September, a further two are expected to commence their secondary schooling.A regular day after school in the Ramsay household would entail the older ones assisting the younger ones with their school work. But in the morning hours, it is Audrey who has to employ her ‘motherly’ skills to get all of them ready for school on time, while at the same time ensure breakfast is ready for the entire family and lunch is prepared for those going to schools in New Amsterdam.This Mother’s Day, while most mothers would be pampered, Audrey will be preparing her very own cricket team for school tomorrow, since this day would be spent like any other Sunday.