STAYING a bit longer in Jamaica wasn’t just to give me a few more days of sun, fresh food, great training and being pain free. It also allowed me to sit down with the Jamaican cycling team to talk over a four-year plan for building a team which might even lead to a velodrome on the island.

You will probably know by now I have an opportunity to race for Jamaica once I am cleared by the UCI and all our conversations about that were very exciting. But the main focus of the meeting was about how we set up a Paralympic cycling team right now for Marloe Rodman, a native of the island who has the chance to become the first Jamaican para cyclist.

That is my first goal for the Jamaican team, not my own performance but working out how to get Marloe on to the international Para cycling scene and on to a podium. So I guess I have become team manager, a Jamaican version of Dave Brailsford if you like. This is a great honour and gives me time to train and get fit so I can hopefully join Marloe on the first Jamaican Para Cycling Team.

I have spoken about Marloe before as I have been trying to help him for about six months now. But here we were, the first time I had actually met him, and we were sat in a New Kingston hotel planning his future. This achievement would transcend sport, a story bigger than just about winning medals or creating a second chance for Marloe. It is about giving hope to thousands of people on a small island who either face a life in gangs or are struggling to find a path in life.

As I drive around the island I see so many people with a disability, and if Marloe is successful I know he could pave the way for so many more young Jamaicans to have a dream and a second chance. I have seen how the power of Para sport has transformed lives in the UK in the last decade or so.

I knew Marloe’s story well – how he rode in the Commonwealth Games as an able bodied rider before a motorbike crash left him fighting in a hospital bed to get his life back.

He is from a rough part of Jamaica known as Spanish Town. While there are nice parts too, I am not going to sugar coat it, there is also a rough side to this town and none of us control over where we are born.

Marloe has worked hard to break away from the gangs that control his home town but the reality is he still lives in a place where he could be shot any day. This is not the ideal environment for training.

Even as we drove to the hotel we turned down a street where an armed soldier was stood on the corner with security checkpoints. Unfortunately someone died in Marloe’s motorbike crash and it took the order of the local Don to prevent a “revenge” shooting. The Don basically controls his patch and everything that happens has to go through him, and no one can be killed unless he sanctions it.

It sounds more like a movie than real life. I worry about having to cycle through London but my new friend has to ride each day, hoping no one decides to shoot him.

I can see how much this guy wants to compete and help others, and all I want to do is help him. I would rather see him win a medal than me even make it back to a Games.

This might sound strange because as an athlete you have to be selfish and focus on your own performance to succeed. That is something I seem to struggle with now after going through all my operations and radiation. The tumour has caused me to question my own sporting priorities and why I keep fighting.

I read a Yale University study which said one of the key steps to happiness is acts of kindness and helping someone like this who will go on to help so many gives me a warm feeling. My body has been through so much that I might never win another medal, but helping others win and helping give people more hope feels better than any medal I have ever won.