Nedrick dominates in the field events
True to the series motto, 'From grass roots to greatness', Petersfield High School's Nigel Nedrick made his inspirational mark in the field events at the opening meet of the 2017 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship - the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Championships.
Nedrick muscled away the Class One boys' throwing hat-trick, winning the Grand Prix discus, plus the javelin and shot put events to emerge the star performer of the meet with a championship-high 29 points when competition came to a close on Saturday at Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall.
He hurled the discus 56.39m to beat teammate Daniel Cope (47.96m); threw the shot put 18.94m to beat Munro College's Daniel Delancey (16.64m); and launched the javelin 53.70m to beat schoolmate Devonery Gordon (53.32m).
Nedrick rose from very humble beginnings. He once lived in Montego Bay, but moved back to Negril - the Westmoreland end - to live with his mom and spent several years at the Clifton Home for Boys. It was his athletic talent that birthed the opportunity to attend Petersfield High, where he now lives on campus at the school dorm.
In recent years, Nedrick catapulted to being not only the national champion, but national youth record holder for the javelin and shot put, with throws of 65.09m and 20.12m, respectively.
The Digicel Grand Prix Series gives athletes and schools the opportunity to earn big bucks. The winning schools, boy and girl, will each earn $1 million in gym or sporting equipment, while there are bonuses upward of $25,000 for record-setters, and additional cash incentives for champions. The top boy and girl of the 2017 Digicel Grand Prix Championship will also earn a prize trip to the World Relays in the Bahamas later this year.
Nedrick says the cash awards provide additional impetus for him to succeed.
"It's very exciting to know that winning also gives you a chance to win cash towards my schooling. For a person like me, my parents don't really have it, so for me to be putting out my talent and getting rewards from it, I'm very appreciative of what I'm doing," admitted the 19-year-old.
"... My mother hardly works. She's on and off so we don't really have it like that. So I stay at the boarding house at my school and my father works, but I don't really live with my father. So it feels very nice, coming from a place like that (Clifton Boys' Home), some people would think that it is bad, but it was really great. I always give thanks to Miss Mac. She taught me a lot of things I didn't know and she is also one of the persons who made me who I am right now," Nedrick informed.
"They taught me to show respect to people. I got a lot of whippings for that," he said, bursting into laughter.
"They showed me how to behave when I go out and I'm around people, how to sit around the dining table, how to use knife and fork, I learnt a lot of things there. So it's very motivating to me," he continued about the financial rewards on offer.
"When you know that you're not one of those rich kids, so you have to use your talent to achieve what you want. I think on these things every day before I train and remind myself that I'm doing this because I'm coming from that place and I don't want to get stuck, so I work very hard just to reach where I'm at now," said Nedrick.