Hard times ahead

Sports

Hard times ahead

Sprinter Calvert-Powell says financial situation growing dire as athletics grinds to halt

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, April 09, 2020

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Having not had a sponsor since 2016, Jamaican sprinter Schillonie Calvert-Powell is struggling financially to make ends meet following the cancellation of the athletics season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Calvert-Powell has been representing Jamaica for the last 16 years, firstly at the junior level in 2004 and at the senior level from 2009.

She was a part of Jamaica's 2013 World Championship 4x100m gold medal team and also won silver in the 4x100m at the 2012 London Olympics.

The former Holmwood Technical High school star, who won triple gold at the 2006 Under-20 Central America and Caribbean Games (CAC), winning the 100, 200m and 4x100, pointed out that athletics is her main source of income.

“With the athletics season being cancelled, I would say I am tremendously impacted by it because that's the main source where I receive my income,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

“Not having any competition to look forward to compete in, where I would get earnings, it definitely impacted my income and how I look towards the rest of the year,” Calvert-Powell added.

The 31-year-old, who resides in Arizona, claims she has depleted her savings in order to stay afloat in the face of demanding bills.

“I can say it is very difficult for athletes, especially myself living overseas and without a sponsor, because my last sponsor was in 2016, and that's when my contract with Adidas ended. So ever since, I have been living without a contract,” she noted.

“Basically, all my savings during the time I had a contract, from 2017 until now, I have been living off. It is extremely difficult,” Calvert-Powell reiterated.

“That (contract) was one of my [main sources] of income, and now I have to rely on meets that I attended. My earning is affected,” she lamented.

However, Calvert-Powell noted that she was contacted by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association requesting her banking information in March.

Prior to that, the Jamaican Government had announced a programme to assist athletes with their preparations for major championships.

The sprinter, who has a 100m personal best of 10.94 set in 2017, and 22.55 for the 200m in 2011, believes she is back to her best and was looking forward to a tremendous season.

“I am extremely motivated knowing that for the previous years I have been dealing with injuries,” said Calvert-Powell.

She continued: “2019 brought back some light and spark in my career and boosted my confidence a bit and showed me that I still have the potential to compete and compete at a high level with the youngsters. I am still motivated, determined and committed.”


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