Junior camps coming back – Dr Blake
With the World Junior Championships coming in July, athletics chief Warren Blake is promising that junior team training camps will be held this year.
Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), made the promise as he evaluated Jamaica's performance at last year's World Youth Championships. Jamaica won just one medal at the event. Blake said that was cause for concern.
That single medal was golden, thanks to a fine performance by Christopher Taylor.
While that was excellent, the modest team medal count was the worst by a Jamaican World Youth squad.
"That is a bit of a concern for us," he said candidly, "and this year we will be making sure that we have junior camps."
Such camps were standard fare up to 2004. However, the JAAA president said the unavailability of the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport prevented staging one last year. Now the college has a new track and has seen repairs to important facilities there.
"We will really have no excuse not to have a camp at G.C. Foster this year," Blake asserted.
A three-day camp actually was held to prepare Jamaica's team to last year's Pan-American Junior Championships. In former years, however, camps held at G.C. Foster College were staged on weekends during the summer term and on weekdays once the school year was completed.
At the previous World Youth Championships, in 2013, Jamaica was outstanding with six gold medals. Some members of that team, including World Youth 110 metres hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde, are eligible for the 2016 World Junior Championships. The host city for the meet is yet to be finalised, but action will begin on July 19.