Sports

Parishes in prep mode for JTA/Sagicor National Primary Schools Athletics Champs

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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The countdown is on for the 35th staging of the JTA/Sagicor National Primary Schools Athletics Championships set to take place over two days next week Friday, May 25, and Saturday, May 26 at the National Stadium.

Over 1,000 promising junior athletes from the 14 parishes across the island will put on a show for spectators as they showcase their talents in various track and field events. The teams are vying for the coveted title of parish champions, while the individual athletes will be eyeing the Champion Boy and Champion Girl trophy.

Trelawny

With their eyes set on placing among the top parishes at the upcoming meet, the athletes and coaches from Trelawny have their game plan ready with high hopes of amassing at least 120 points at the end of the meet, which will put them in a comfortable position to secure a top spot.

Excited to make great strides for the 35th anniversary of the primary level sporting event, Parish Coordinator Winston Robinson, who joined the team in 2016, is anticipating a strong performance from the parish's top junior athletes.

“We are expecting Quaycian Kitchen, Kora Barrett and Rondane James to be among the medals in the middle distances, while Shantira James and Cheyenne Cooper we anticipate will spring some surprises in the cricket ball and long jump events,” Robinson predicts.

Due to the geographic dispersion of the athletes across one of the island's larger parishes, organisation of training can prove challenging, said Robinson. He noted, however, that the team has been able to conduct some solid training sessions in preparation for the meet.

With a rich history of producing superstar athletes, namely Olympians Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell Brown, the parish hopes to provide a platform for its home-grown talents to take on the world stage.

St Elizabeth

The self-proclaimed 'rounded team' the St Elizabeth track and field line-up is set to make their mark at this year's meet. The parish has had two wins since the inception of the championships and is looking forward to performing well for the 2018 staging.

The “bread basket” parish produced the 2017 champion girl, Karee Tape, a young and talented nine-year-old who dominated the cricket ball throw event as well. The team of 78 junior athletes is once again looking forward to making their parish proud.

Parish Coordinator Patrick Malcolm shared that the athletes are very confident and ready to take on the games next week as they have a robust training programme.

The team is looking to move ahead in the points standing and hopefully surpass St Andrew, who they see as their major competitors.

Westmoreland

The Westmoreland team, though they are yet to hold the coveted parish champion title — remains upbeat and optimistic as they have their eyes set on placing in the top five of the meet, which they achieved in 2015 when they placed fifth.

Parish Coordinator Suzette Reid and coaches Godfrey Drummond and Sheldon Phillips said they have built a strong training schedule to increase the young athletes' performance at meet.

“We are hosting weekend camps, training three times per day each weekend and facilitating special training for field events,” Reid shared.

The team is expecting strong performances in the Under-11 relays with the likes of their athletes Angel Robinson and Jhonel Hinds. Athletes Shamar Blake, Shanice Stewart and Monique Stewart are also positioned to shine in the Under-15 relay category. Reid also anticipates that the parish will do well in the 80m, 100m and 200m events.

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