The outdoor track and field season is drawing near and Fast Track is aiming to get the local athletes primed and ready for the upcoming journey.
Staged under the “bright lights” of the Grand Bahama Sports Complex this coming Friday, December 7, is slated the Fast Track’s Third Annual Winter Classic.
The pre-season competition gives athletes an opportunity to gauge their progress.
Yearly, the Winter Classic is hosted for the track and field athletes, to serve not only as a checkpoint to indicate the season is approaching, but to put their off-season workouts to the test.
A number of local track and field clubs are expected to participate in the event.
Both Fast Track coaches, Ravanno Ferguson and Pharez Cooper met with the media this past Friday at the Sports Complex to put the final push behind the upcoming event.
Coach Ferguson stated that he expects the athletes to put on a great showing and also explained why Fast Track decided to change the date and time format for the third annual classic.
“It’s going to be a great event. It’s going to give the kids a chance to sharpen their skills. It’s going to be an odd distance meet, which means we don’t run the regular races (100 meters, 200 meters and so on).
“The event is usually held on a Saturday but this year we wanted to add a different twist to it by hosting a twilight meet. So, it gives the (primary school) athletes a chance to run under the lights of the Complex, to make it feel more grand to them as they don’t get a regular chance to do that, as opposed to the high school kids, when they run during Island Sports,” said Ferguson.
The Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations (BAAA) First Vice President, Ferguson, also indicated that the change in time and day should allow parents an opportunity to attend the meet.
“It also helps the association’s mandate to create a bigger buzz centered around track and field meets around the country.
“But most importantly we want to try and bring the fans and spectators out here. We’re trying to revive track and field in Grand Bahama. It’s going to be a family oriented evening so we’re encouraging persons to come straight from work.
“We have activities lined up for the non-athletes and extreme athletes. So, if you just want to come out and have fun we’ll have the bouncing castles, face painting for the kids and a ton of raffle prizes for adults and kids. So, it won’t just be a track meet it will be a family event,” he explained.
Ferguson listed Fast Track Athletics and Fast Track West, Neymour’s Athletics, Golden Eagles, Kenyan Knights, 90 Degrees, Falcons’ Athletics, as well high school teams, as probable for the competition this Friday.
The event in itself is unique as it takes on an odd distance format. Traditionally, the region lacks an indoor season, which is where odd distance races are contested. With the absence of an indoor season here in Grand Bahama, and the country at large, this prompted the Fast Track coaches to replicate the indoor events, outdoors.
Coach Cooper further disclosed that this format would help the athletes relax a bit while also sharpening their talents.
“The distances, for instance, instead of being a traditional 100m, we’ll have a 60m, 150m, and 300m. So it’s just to simulate an indoor circuit which gives the kids the option to run a race and face less pressure of running in their special event. So, it gives them an opportunity to come out and sharpen their skills and have a fun meet with less pressure.
“We want everyone out there to come have fun, open their season, test their skill level and we want the crowd to come out and support our athletes.”
The Fast Track Winter Classic is a sanctioned meet by the BAAA and Grand Bahama Amateur Athletic Association (GBAAA). All the times recorded at the meet will be fully-automatic times.
Cooper closed his comments by making an important point.
“We have a branch of communication with a lot college coaches...so all respective times that could be accepted, will help the athletes get off to college.”