Being a track and field athlete one must be ready to work all year round to ensure they are at their best.
This past weekend approximately 40 athletes took advantage of the call to work out with hurdles’ coach David Charlton and jumps’ coach James Rolle during the Legacy Athletics launch at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex.
Over the course of the weekend, September 1-3, athletes learned from two of the country’s top track and field veterans, fundamentals and techniques of the disciplines. Both coaches out of Nassau were left impressed with the amount of talent in the aforementioned disciplines.
Charlton, the Star Trackers Track and Field Club founder stated that he wanted to bring the “basic” techniques and drills for sprint hurdling. Since the camp kicked off that Friday he noted that a lot of the athletes were quick in picking up and executing most of the techniques.
“I’m very pleased. As a matter of fact I see one or two rising stars in this event,” he voiced, “It’s an event I’m passionate about. I’ve been doing this event from my freshman year in college. I competed at the CARIFTA level so I do have a passion for this event.”
According to Charlton, he has has guided a number of athletes to CARIFTA champion status and has helped a few athletes to obtain scholarships. He is also the father of world-class sprinter and Purdue University product Devynne Charlton. The hurdles’ coach was requested by head of Legacy Athletics Bianca Strachan and program development assistant Sandra Laing to host the clinic. He voiced that it was something he could not pass up.
The Star Trackers’ founder also stressed the hurdles is something coaches must become “students” of in order for the interest in the discipline to take effect on the athletes.
“I jumped at the opportunity. And what they’re doing is an excellent idea. I think it needs to be adopted throughout The Bahamas, especially the Family Islands.
“Our coaches need to become educated in the event...a number of our sprinters need to consider the hurdles because unless you’re in the 12th grade and running 10.1 or 10.2 (seconds) there’s not much going on for you at the world class level. But certainly a 10.5 or 10.6 100 meters runner can become a great hurdler. The same thing goes for our female sprinters. If you’re running a 12.1 or 12.2 you should really consider the 100m hurdles.
“If you look at the number of world class athletes, their 100 meters is not all that great; it’s average. But yet they’ve become world class sprinters.”
He furthered that even for the 400m runners, if their times aren’t at a 46-low in high school the quarter-mile hurdles should be a considered option.
From the jumps aspects of things, Rolle eyes a lot of potential in the high, long and triple jumps. He suggested that if the athletes continue to practice what they learned over the weekend, there is potential for some medalists at the 2018 CARIFTA Games to be held in New Providence.
“I’m over here teaching and training the kids to triple, long and high jump. The majority of them are 11, 12 and 13 and they have a lot of talent. I love to come here off and on in different islands of The Bahamas. From what I see after the last three days I’m more than welcome and happy to come back.”
Strachan, the former high school and collegiate dynamo, agreed with the sentiment that the well of talent for these events in Grand Bahama is deep. She also wants to use the program to reach out to past athletes to lend their wealth of knowledge to the cause.
“That’s what I was trying to get at with the coaches. We have to fill in those events that we lacked in; in the jumps and the hurdles and things like that. Even with this organization I just want to reach out to all the former athletes. We have to be a collective unit, we have to get together and just increase the overall athletic development in Grand Bahama and ultimately The Bahamas.”
The weekend camp featured some back- to -school giveaways in the form of a backpacks filled with some school supplies on behalf of the Rotaract of Freeport. Other helping hands for the camp included Phluid Factory, BTC, C&B Wholesale, Taino Beach Resort, Bahamas Association of Athletics Association president Rosamunde Carey, Bellevue, Sawyer’s Fresh Market, and Bayside Rentals.