Regional

Participants hail successful inaugural Mt Alvernia High coaching clinic

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The first coaching clinic hosted by Mt Alvernia High under the auspices of the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) has been hailed as a success by the organisers and coaches.

Last week, coaches from across the western Region from primary and high schools attended the three-day clinic hosted by Mt Alvernia High's coach Andrew Henry.

The results, they say, will benefit athletes in western Jamaica in the short term and hopefully the country in the long term.

“For the first year, this went well and we are already planning for next year,” Henry told Jamaica Observer West last Friday, adding that “we hope this will be an annual thing.”

The objective is to enhance the skills of the coaches in this region. If the athletes in the west improve, it will not only benefit them, but the country on a whole when they make national teams. We are starting here and hopefully it will spread.”

Olympian Maurice Wignall, IAAF Level Four coach Michael McIntosh and IAAF Level Five throws coach Julian Robinson, led the sessions—theoretical and practical-----from last week Wednesday to Friday.

Wignall, who presently coaches at both St Jago High and Clarendon College, took the coaches through the technical aspects of hurdling on Wednesday's first day; McIntosh, who will head the coaching staff to the Pan-American Under-20 championships in Costa Rica this weekend, concentrated on the jumps on Thursday, and Robinson, the coach at Calabar High and UWI-Mona, spoke about the throws on Friday.

Henry told the Observer West that he thought the presenters did a good job, pointing out that the coaches were eager learners.

“We were able to get the best people to present in the various areas, and based on feedback from the coaches, they were happy as they learned new ways of coaching the events,” said Henry.

“I am sure that those coaches who were able to attend this week will leave with more knowledge as to how best to get the most out of their athletes.”

Roderick Myles, the head coach of Rusea's High who was part of the national coaching staff to the CARIFTA Games in April, said the clinic was one of the best he had attended.

“The clinic was very informative and we have to keep up with the trends,” he told the Observer West.

Singling out Wignall's presentations, he added, “there was a lot of information and maybe because he was an athletes he brought a new approach to how to train athletes in the events.”

“I have done a few courses in the past, but this one was way up there in terms of what I learned, the small classes and format allowed for better interaction, and I can't wait to start training and to apply the new things I learned this week,” Myles stressed.

Carlene Robinson, a former national representative, who now coaches the Montego Bay High team, said “these three days have been extremely beneficial as we got more in-depth knowledge as to how to coach. All three days taught me new things and this will initially enable myself, and the athletes to become better at their technical areas.”

Robinson, who won a bronze medal at the IAAF Under-18 championships in Hungary in 2001, and won the NACAC Under- 23 title in Canada in 2004, argued that she is now better prepared to coach the throws.

“As someone who has never been able to teach the throws, I am now prepared to be able to teach it now, even at the starting level, and I hope I will be able to find athletes in that event at Montego Bay High,” she said.

The former Christiana High and Manchester High student added, “this was a good step for coaches in this region to get information from coaches who have had success, we are still learning, and getting informational from some of the best in their fields is invaluable.”


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