Athletes from central Jamaica made their mark at the recent Digicel/MVP Grassroots Athletics Clinics held at St. Elizabeth and Vere Technical High Schools on October 10 and 17 respectively.
The programme is aimed at providing world class professional level training for high school track and field athletes in their pet events as well as to introduce them to other disciplines in the sport. These disciplines include, hurdles, throws, jumps, middle distance, sprints and relays.
At the end of the October 10 clinic athletes from the St. Elizabeth Technical High School walked away with three of the ten awards namely the Digicel Top Boy (Ryan Dunkley), Nike Top Girl (Kimisha Chambers) and Reggae Jammin Top Boy (Juvaney James). Meanwhile Shanamarie Staple and Lenard Woodstock of Lacovia High School were named the Gatorade Top Girl and Boy.
Prizes included Nike sneakers, smartphones from Digicel and gift baskets courtesy of NCB and Gatorade.
Over in Clarendon athletes from Vere Technical High School were named Digicel Top Girl (Sanique Walker), Nike Top Boy and Girl (Tasrico Bell and Avery Pryce) as well as NCB Top Girl (Britany Anderson). Ragaj Beckford of Garvey Maceo was named NCB Top Boy.
Paul Francis, Lead Technical Coach for the programme explained how the top athletes are selected, “All coaches are given evaluation sheets to note those athletes who are outstanding in terms of participation as well as ability to grasp and demonstrate what is taught.”
Sanique Walker one of the awardees said, “I was not aware that we were being evaluated, I was just really happy to be receiving the training and so I paid keen attention to what I was being taught.”
Tasrico Bell, another awardee said, “I am a sprints athlete but I liked that I was exposed to other disciplines in track and field, I really learnt a lot of important details about them.”
The students who received top honours as well as other outstanding performers will be invited to attend a major clinic to be held in Montego Bay (Catherine Hall Stadium) and Kingston (National Stadium) where they will undergo even more intensive training.
The Digicel MVP Grassroots Athletics Programme is sponsored by Gatorade, NCB, Reggae Jammin and Nike.