Athletics

Racers Summer Camp inspires campers to dream big

Sunday, July 29, 2018

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It was another successful staging of the Racers Track Club Summer Camp, and participants were duly rewarded for their efforts at a closing ceremony at Irvine Hall dining room on the University of the West Indies' (UWI) Mona campus on Friday.

This year, the seventh staging of the three-week-long summer camp, approximately 37 campers of various age groups and ethnic backgrounds participated.

Campers came from United Kingdom, United States, Finland, India, New Zealand, the Canada, Puerto Rico, St Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Antigua, and the United Arab Emirates.

The club, which is home to World and Olympic record holder Usain Bolt and world champion Yohan Blake, among other global campaigners, took the campers through various drills both on and off the track over the period.

Though the camp was missing its usual influx of participants from the United States, general secretary of Racers Track Club Cynthia Cooke was pleased with the outcome.

“It was a good camp this year, [though] we didn't have as many people from the United States as we usually have. I don't know why, but we at Racers are very happy with what transpired and we think it was a success.

“This (closing ceremony) programme was designed by the campers and they participated and managed the whole exercise. So, as you can see from the campers and the report that they gave, they learnt a lot, and it was in a pleasant atmosphere and the camaraderie and all that was just really exciting stuff,” Cooke told the Jamaica Observer.

Jamaican-born Lauren Watson, who now resides in Abu Dhabi, was not really an avid track and field athlete and initially came to the camp for the experience — one that has now left her aspiring to excel in the sport.

“I chose to come to the camp because I wanted to support my country, I could have done other things, but I chose to come here to support my country and to share fond memories with other people as well.

“I don't do track and field, but I would now like to do the 100m and the 200m or the javelin. This is my first time doing track, and the camp showed me how to remain discipline and also how to stay fit, so I would definitely like to come back next year and recommend other people as well,” Watson said after being named among the outstanding campers.

Miraya Mehta of India was named Best Overall Female performer and also took the best Team Spirit award in the female category, while Micah Allen — who was named among the most improved campers — also won the Best Overall Male performer award.

Wavell Hinds Jr, son of the former Jamaica and West Indies batting star, was also among the camp's standouts, and he is overjoyed about the experience of the camp despite the extensive training sessions.

“The camp was really good you got a lot of experience on the track and it was also good for kids who are inactive so I would recommend other parents to send their kids here because it is a great experience,” he stated.

Though he also tries his hand at cricket, Hinds Jr pointed out that track and field is his first love and he is intent on making it big in the 110m hurdles.

“Track and field is what I do. I just play cricket for fun but track and field is my love.

“The training has made me more technically sound, because hurdling is a hard event, so the camp has helped me out a lot. I didn't do so well here, but I am not going to stop until I make Jamaica team because it is in my blood,” the Wolmer's Boys' athlete asserted.

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