There are those who hold the view that the world class athlete, who is also a former 100m Champion of the Commonwealth Games, has much more to offer his country, albeit in a different field; that of politics.
Political commentator, Mr. Washington “Washie” Archibald, has added his voice to those in public who share the thought that Mr. Collins has represented his country in an exemplary fashion, and now that his athletic career is perhaps entering the final chapter of stardom, the time is right for him to transfer his record of excellence on the track, to that of the political arena.
At a public meeting on Wednesday 29th August, 2012, on Bank Street, Basseterre, Mr. Archibald said this little island of St. Kitts, 68sq miles and 40,000 people, has produced a world class athlete in the person of Kim Collins, but there are certain elements within the country, who are trying to “control” the track star, while others seem determined to injure his reputation.
“You see, a lot of people have been talking, banging their mouths (discussing) that Kim Collins would be a good candidate to run in Central Basseterre”, said Archibald. Washie claimed however, that some high ranking politicians have been trying to do something to tarnish the name of Kim Collins.
The political commentator said he supported the decision of the athletes who represented St. Kitts & Nevis at the London 2012 Olympics, including Collins, for not attending the social function to which they were invited, through the St. Kitts & Nevis Diplomatic Mission in London, and at which the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas, was expected be in attendance. The management of the Olympic committee and the leaders of Team St. Kitts & Nevis had however, apologized for the absence of the athletes, indicating that the event conflicted by with the schedule and availability of the team members.
“Kim Collins had a right to take that position, because in St. Kitts where Kim Collins (is) from, Douglas never notice him,” charged Archibald. In making his case, he added that some people planted some trees on the highway, which is named in honour of Kim Collins, but instead of supporting the gesture, the government, led by Douglas, had the trees removed.
Despite Archibald’s claim however that Collins has been given no recognition or has not been noticed in his country, there have been various ways in which Mr. Collins has been celebrated for his athletic achievements and the fame he has brought to St. Kitts and Nevis. These have included the same highway which carries his name; the main pavilion at the Silver Jubilee Athletic Stadium; the declaration of 25th August as Kim Collins Day, and others.
However, Collins himself has spoken out in the past about many other instances when he has been shunned by the government. When the athletic stadium was not named in his honour, many Kittitians were disappointed and criticized the government for what they claimed was a deliberate move to slight the sprint icon because of his known political preference for the opposition People’s Action Movement, PAM.
With this mixture of good and bad relations, Archibald is of the view that Mr. Collins has some reason to be careful in his dealings with government and sporting authorities. Archibald also reminded his audience that Collins was locked out of the Athletes Village and stadium in London, preventing him from gaining access to participate in the 100m Heats; resulting in his no show for his final glory on the world stage, competing with the best athletes from this planet.
Therefore this is how Mr. Archibald summarized his message to the former World Champion, “Now I want Kim Collins to know that he is still popular in Central Basseterre and I want Kim Collins to come home…and to run. So my message to Kim is, RUN, KIM, RUN!”