THERE’S nothing that gives 18-year-old Kezra Murray more joy in her athletic pursuits than the thought of representing her country, which she finally got the opportunity to do last August when she attended the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) in Suriname.
Murray went on to win two silver medals at the event in the 400m and 800m events, and just last week she was one of the star athletes for West Demerara (District 3) at the National Schools Championships (Nationals), where she took a gold and a silver, respectively, in the Girls’ Under-20 800m and 400m.
Murray has been attending Nationals since 2014, having been involved in athletics since she was 12 years old. She says athletics was in her family so it was only natural that she got involved in the sport.
“My father and my mother both ran and I always said I wanted to be just like them,” Murray shared.
“They would always tell me about running during their schooldays and even one of my dad’s teachers and some of the people in my village told me the same thing too.”
Inspired by her parents Murray was hopeful of following in her parents’ footsteps and making her community and country proud.
However, hailing from the village of Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara this was easier said than done, as achieving her true athletic potential would require her to train with a qualified coach, and those are in short supply on the West Coast.
She did manage to find a small-time club, the now-defunct West End Athletics Club. But that did not last long.
“I was in a club in Uitvlugt, but I had to leave so I could get exposure.”
Then it was after a performance at a Guyana Police Force Gymkhana event, that her talent caught the eye of then Acting Commissioner of Police, Derick Josiah, and he encouragement her to join the Police Progressive Youth Athletics Club.
Despite the fact that the Police club was based in Georgetown and it would be challenging for her to travel all the way from the West Coast, Murray jumped at the thought, and joined the club.
“It is a strain financially at times,” She remarked, nonetheless she knows she needs the exposure and is determined to continue despite the challenges. She’s still at her club, training five days a week as she continues to aspire to improve herself as an athlete.
Her training has enabled to her gain a number of medals at Nationals, while she continued to hope for an opportunity to represent her country.
Although improvements have been slow she’s still proud of what she has been able to achieve – her proudest moment finally coming with her IGG performance.
“My biggest achievement as an athlete is when I had the opportunity to represent my homeland Guyana,” Murray says.