With high hopes for the track and field season to kick-off in 2021, Coach John Ingraham of Heats Athletics is remaining committed to the training program.
It has been a long break for the athletes, who last competed at the Ministry of Education’s Bahamas National High School Track and Field Championships in March 2020. That meet was cut short on day one, with athletes being pulled from the track and the meet abruptly ending as the COVID-19 pandemic made its presence felt in The Bahamas.
Since then, athletes on the island have had to adjust to the, “new norm.” With two lockdowns since March and lighter restrictions in place for the island of Grand Bahama since September, Ingraham and company returned to action.
The club began weight conditioning at Nesbitt’s Fitness on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays, with their outdoor training taking place at the Ruby Golf Course on Wednesdays.
“Since everything pretty much opened back up in late August/early September we started our program again. We were doing some conditioning in July until the island was shut down. So, we tried to keep the kids more in tune and more in shape because they haven’t competed since March.
“We were trying to keep them in shape so they wouldn’t put on too much weight during quarantine. So, we started back up again in late August and we’ve been at it since then.
“The kids are in great shape right now. We’re holding a time trial for them next week to see where they’re at. During this time the kids are practicing social distancing during drills, while wearing their masks. However, when it’s time to run, they have to take them off.”
While the kids are doing their part to maintain social distancing during outdoor training, Ingraham said he chose Nesbitt’s Fitness, located at the Circle Mall, because there is a great deal of space to operate with.
“We started at the gym sometime in October after they opened up. We’re at the Circle Mall and it’s very huge, so it provides more spacing and we can do more activities outside.
“The kids are very disciplined and prepared in case an event comes up.”
Ingraham also lamented that he has run into some difficulties with being able to utilize the Grand Bahama Sports Complex. His goal is to obtain clearance for use of the facility two days out of the week. He stressed that the grass at the golf course could be hazardous, with the athletes having to be mindful of the uneven surface.
“We train on the grass and it’s not entirely leveled. There are holes and the speed the kids are going at, it’s dangerous. They could step into a little ditch or hole and cause them to get injured.
“That’s my only issue right now. We’re trying to use everything we can right now. We’re trying to make it work and get the kids to the level they’re supposed to be. We’re making it work.
“We’ll go to the beach, maybe two days out of the week, use the golf course, even the Sir Jack Hayward Bridge. We hit different places to switch things up and make it challenging for the kids in their workouts.”
Ingraham also remained optimistic about Neymour’s Athletics hosting the Odd Distance Christmas track meet next month, December 18-19. He shared that the event not only would give all the athletes a chance to compete, but also add life to the island during these times.
“Once they follow the protocols I think it can work. I think something needs to come to the island. We need to build some excitement during these hard times,” he concluded.