McMaster, who recovered from a hamstring injury sustained at the World Championships, thereafter managed to defend his crown at the Commonwealth Games, becoming the first athlete to accomplish that in his event. He then went on to defend his NACAC crown in a championship record.
Speaking at his brief homecoming ceremony, McMaster noted it was special coming home for him this year. He said the last two seasons were tough for him as he was plagued with injuries and just missed out on a medal at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The Commonwealth Games Champion said more than ever, his family was there for him through the tough times.
Although it was a moment to celebrate his accomplishments, McMaster used the time to focus on athlete development in the territory. He said he had some good conversations with the Minister for Sports Sharie de Castro on how the government can focus on the development of young athletes in the territory and bring them to the level at which he is competing.
“You know I slipped through the cracks, and I went abroad. I’ve been around the block. It is easy to say I have seen the highest of the highs in the track and field world. I’ve walked the red carpet of functional events in the track and field world. But I have been at the lows. I’ve been in eighth place consecutively many times, but they never speak about that. I know what the future athletes have coming up for them and if you ain’t mentally strong, it is easy to quit and easy to stop if you don’t have that push,” McMaster said.
“So, I feel that’s why it is imperative, and it is necessary now that we have to target the younger ones. I think they are blinded by not seeing the success of working hard because they see somebody like me going out there and from their perspective, he keeps finishing fourth and there is no real winning or earning in that from a young person’s perspective. So, that is why it is easy for them to shy away,” he added.
The two-time NACAC Champion also spoke on being mentors for younger athletes and helping them understand that success in any sport does not come overnight.
“Everyone keeps telling you to be successful, but they don’t tell you about the journey to get there and it is the journey that makes you or breaks you. I am still on my path. I don’t think I have been successful to where I want in my track and field journey. My goal is to bring home medals in the two major championships — the Olympics and World Championships. I’ve already bagged the Commonwealth Games twice,” McMaster said.
Meanwhile, Minister de Castro spoke of the conversations she’s had with McMaster and how humbling it was for her.
“Kyron is young, and he’s younger than me. But when you’re going to try to speak with him about what he’s done, and how much it means; instead of projecting it on himself, he speaks about how he had to do it for the country and how he felt like we needed something, to be uplifted, and we needed this moment, even more than him. And I know that he had recently been recovering from an injury. So, for him to put himself on the back burner like that and speak about our country and what it would mean to us, it taught me truly just in that short space of time who he is, and it spoke to his character,” de Castro said.
The Sports Minister also noted that conversations surrounding the development of sports will continue in the territory and McMaster will be a key person in the discussions.