Tue | Oct 17, 2017

STETHS coach heading to Wolmer's? ... They'll have to move a mountain to take him - principal

Published:Tuesday | April 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe
STETHS principal, Keith Wellington.
STETHS coach Reynaldo Walcott.
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Principal of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Keith Wellington, said he has not been informed that his track and field head coach, Reynaldo Walcott, is heading to Wolmer's Boys' School and is confident it will take a massive effort to poach his prized coach.

As earlier reported on www.jamaica-gleaner.com, Walcott is strongly tipped to take over the reins at the Heroes Circle-based institution after its entire coaching staff headed by Christopher Harley was shown the door following another disappointing season, which culminated in a ninth place finish and 50-point tally at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.

This follows the school's back-to-back sixth-place finishes in the boys' section at the 2015 and 2014 championships.

Harley was said to have lost the confidence of several influential members of the Wolmer's community, such as MVP Track Club coach Stephen Francis, who has been a long-time supporter of the programme.

"I am confident that it will take a mountain to move him (Walcott) from St Elizabeth Technical," Wellington told The Gleaner yesterday. "If he is going to move, those interested will have to plan to move a mountain."

 

Multimillion-dollar contract

Sources have informed The Gleaner that Walcott has been offered a multimillion-dollar contract, which represents a 10 times improvement on his current deal with STETHS.

Wellington, who praised Walcott for his work over the years in transforming STETHS into one of the strongest programmes in the country, however, maintains that there is no indication that his prized asset will be changing locations ahead of the coming season.

The ISSA vice-president added that he has spoken to the coach, who he says informed him of an interest from Wolmer's, but gave no indication that he will, in fact, be leaving.

"I would have spoken to him; he volunteered to speak with me and I still have no information that he is heading to Wolmer's, whether from the reports or the conversation I have had with him," Wellington said. "Nothing I have read or heard says he is going to Wolmer's. I have read where he is the person being targeted by Wolmer's, and based on the conversation I have had with him, that is as much as I know as well.

"... He (Walcott) is the target of their (Wolmer's) interest, but I don't know that he is going there," Wellington noted.

Of note, Walcott is currently a member of the MVP Track Club support staff, providing technical support at training sessions and is a feature at the club's local exercises, overseas camps and international competition.

Walcott, who first arrived at STETHS as a 12-year-old in seventh grade, returned to coach the team after four years of study at the University of Technology. He is in his fourth year at the helm of the programme.

He is today considered to be one of the best young minds in track and field coaching and was rewarded for his work with head coach duties for Jamaica's team to the recent Carifta Games in Grenada, where the team won 86 medals.

This year, STETHS finished fifth in the boys' section at Champs with 100 points and seventh in the female section with 71 points. Last year's effort saw the Santa Cruz-based team also taking fifth place in the boys' section (132 points) and ninth in the female section (51 points).

In the 2014 instalment, STETHS again finished fifth in the boys' section with 123 points and eighth in the female side on 65 points.