It seems more younger, former track and field athletes are coming to the forefront in helping the next generation of athletes in that discipline.
Kenyan Knights’ Coach, Jason Larrimore, is the latest to throw his name in the hat in paying forward, even more to our Northern Bahamas neighbors, Bimini and Abaco.
Larrimore is expected to begin his Family Island Development Program this weekend in Abaco.
The rumored establishment of a Northern Region Track and Field Association, will begin with Larrimore’s focus on those two islands.
“My focus is on the Northern Region to try and get the distance runners up to standard, to compete with the rest of the region. And then as we settle in, I’ll try to focus on other events such as the sprints and wherever else they need help in the Family Islands,” he said. “But my main goal is to go out there and focus on the distance runners, because we have a lot of distance runners out there and I feel like we don’t put enough emphasis on them.”
While everyone knows the sprint and most field events in the CARIFTA Games will have Bahamian representation, the Kenyan Knights’ coach suggested that the distance events must have the equal amount of Bahamian participants.
“If we want a shot of winning CARIFTA at home, we need all those distance events full and be very competitive.”
Other than just getting athletes ready for elite competition, Larrimore felt it was time for more action than words.
“It’s something we really needed. And I always hear past governments saying ‘we want to help with development’ or associations say ‘we’re going to help.’ Everyone says they’re going to do it and they never do. So, I said let me take it upon myself and let me go, because if I wait for persons to help I’ll never get it. So I rather start and hopefully, they hop on board when they see how successful it is.”
He added, “I just hope they buy into the dream and they want to see The Bahamas succeed. That’s the goal for me. When we go out there we don’t represent a club, we represent one thing ... that’s The Bahamas across our chest. That’s what I want to see. I want to see everyone come together for one common goal. Let’s try to help everybody. Whatever your strength is you help me and whatever my strength is I help you. Right now I feel we’re a long way from that, but I’m trying to bridge the gap and hopefully, some of the older coaches will hop on board and buy into the dream.”
Larrimore noted that he got a good look at the talent in Bimini when they competed in the Family Island races at the IAAF World Relays in April.
He also got an eye full of the athletes in Abaco, while helping out with their Island Sports.
“I was like a kid in a candy store. It was so much talent and they’re telling there’s no one to coach them. So I said I’d try to put together a program for next year, where I’ll come over on the weekends and help you guys out as best as I can. But Abaco is the real deal when it comes to talent. They have everything there.”
Larrimore’s plan for the program will include him spending two consecutive weekends on each island. Distance runners and sprinters will each get an hour and a half sessions.
“You want to make sure no one gets left out. You don’t want nobody to feel disenfranchised in no type of way. So my main objective is to go out there and try to help everybody, but we’ll see how it goes.”