Trinidad and Tobago runner Jereem Richards is encouraging other local athletes to never give up on their dreams, after the double World Championship medallist received a boost to his athletic career after signing a professional contract with Adidas, yesterday.
Richards copped bronze in the men’s 200-metre event and gold in the men’s 4x400m relay at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London last month.
Local athletes have been pleading for more support from Trinidad and Tobago, including Richards’ teammates at the 2017 World Championships such as Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Michelle-Lee Ahye. The local athletes are saying that a lack of support is preventing them from excelling.
In an interview with Newsday, Richards urged local athletes to not lose hope.
“I would always say to put everything in God’s hands. I believe that if you pray for something that it would come to past, because there is nothing that God can’t do,” Richards said.
“Outside of that you don’t give up if it is something that you really want to do, don’t give up and keep working hard because without struggles you would not enjoy success. The measure of your success is based on your struggles and you will really enjoy it more when you know where you came from and where you are now. Never give up is what I will say to younger athletes.”
Richards is thankful to Adidas as it was always his dream to be a professional athlete. “I am really grateful to God for this opportunity. Since I started track and field it has been my dream to become a professional athlete. To actually begin my career right now I really am thankful for the opportunity that I had and the blessings that God has bestowed upon me.”
Richards, who did not want to reveal the details of the contract, said the contract will give him an extra boost in his career. “It really gives me a big boost because now I can actually pick some of the races that I would be able to run. I will be running against at an elite level of athletes that are also professional.”
The World Championship double medallist is counting on TT to give more support to local athletes. “I hope the local companies pay more attention to the local athletes because in Trinidad and Tobago there are a lot of talented kids and sometimes we need the support. Not just financially, but also for people to be there and come out and support kids at the track meets. With the support of the country we could go really far.”
— Jereem Richards (@Reemy_rich19) September 12, 2017
Earlier in the day Richards thanked all his supporters on Twitter. “After such a successful 2017 season representing the University of Alabama and also representing Trinidad and Tobago in the 2017 World Championships, I will like to thank my family and friends and everyone for supporting me this year, without you all it would not be possible.”
Fast runs in this family. ⚡️
— adidas Running (@adidasrunning) September 13, 2017