Mr Terrelonge was speaking on Tuesday at the inaugural Applied Sport Psychology Conference of the Caribbean at the Mona Vistors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies where he represented the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
“When our athletes go on that plane to represent Jamaica, a psychologist should be on the flight with the team to attend to their mental wellbeing,” Mr Terrelonge said.
The importance of mental wellness forms part of the national sports policy which was developed on the philosophy of Sports for All.
The Minister of State said that assistance should be given to the sports bodies to acquire the service of psychologists.
“The world is coming to Jamaica, but they will beat us at our game if we don’t focus on the mental wellbeing and mental prowess of our athletes. Techniques can be copied but that mental fortitude that our athletes need is something that we have to provide for them.”
The Applied Sport Psychology Conference of the Caribbean attracted sports psychologists from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman Islands, Barbados and St. Lucia. The conference was aimed at highlighting the role that sports psychologists play in helping to prepare the region’s athletes and sports personnel for competitions and beyond.