Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Digicel, MVP host clinic to develop young athletes

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2016 | 9:00 AM
This young athlete practises her hurdling technique during the first Digicel/MVP Grassroots Clinic, which was held at the Morant Bay High School recently.

One hundred promising young athletes in eastern Jamaica were among the first to get first-class training in several competitive events at the start of the Digicel/MVP Grassroots Clinic.

Now in its fourth year, Digicel has again teamed up with the MVP Track and Field Club to host the series of track and field clinics across Jamaica.

The first of the five clinics was held at the Morant Bay High School on Saturday, September 24, where the youngsters from schools in the Surrey county underwent a day of intense training with professionals from the internationally acclaimed athletics club.

"Our outstanding success at the Olympics just last month is the reason we see it necessary to continue this programme. Unfortunately, a day will come when these amazing athletes will hang up their spikes. Therefore, development programmes such as the MVP Clinic will help to ensure that Jamaica always has a fresh crop of athletes ready to continue our successes on the world stage," said Danielia Mclean, sponsorship manager at Digicel.

During the day of training, students were taken through six disciplines in track and field, sprinting, hurdling, relays, throws, long distance, and jumps. These sessions were led by stalwart coaches such as Paul Francis, Linval Swaby, and Shanikie Osbourne.

"The idea is that through this programme, students and their coaches are introduced to world-class training methods. Additionally, they are introduced to athletic disciplines that they may not have had much exposure to before. Take, for instance, Junelle Bromfield, who competed in hurdles, relays, sprints, and middle distances while at STETHS, she is now focused on the 400m sprint, where she won the IAAF World Under-20 bronze medal this July," said Bruce James, president of the MVP.

The clinic will - in the next two weeks - head to Vere and St Elizabeth Technical High schools after which a number of the top-performing students will be selected to participate in advanced training camps in St James and St Catherine. At the end of the advanced camps, one outstanding athlete will receive a scholarship valued at $1 million to attend the University of Technology and train with the MVP Track & Field Club.

Sponsors of the Digicel MVP Grassroots Athletics Programme are Nike, Reggae Jammin, National Commercial Bank, and Gatorade.