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Inez Turner enjoying life at Fayetteville State

Published:Sunday | October 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham
Inez Turner (left), head track and field coach of Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, is seen here sharing a light moment with Jennifer Brown (centre), head of physical education at St Andrew High School, and Olympian Vilma Charlton at the USA Elite International Track and Field Convention for local high school athletes last Friday.

After being a successful athlete in her junior and senior years for Jamaica, former Vere Technical High School standout Inez Turner is having the same success in the United States as a track and field coach. Turner is in her first season as head track and field and cross country coach at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

Turner was previously head coach at Winston Salem University, also in North Carolina, where she spent eight years in the post.

The Olympian, who was in the island recently, was the main speaker at the US-Ja Scholarship and Athletic Convention and College Fair, which was held at St Andrew High School last Friday, where several students from various high schools in the Corporate Area were present.

Turner spoke passionately about her coaching career in the United States and her participation in the Elite International Programme.

"My life has been very blessed. After those years at Winston Salem, winning nine championships and nine Coach of the Year awards, it has been the same success at my new job in Fayetteville after just two months, winning the Conference Cross Championships and Coach of the Year," said Turner.




She stated that despite her success at her former school, she had no problem moving on to a new challenge.

"I took this new job at Fayetteville because I like to build, and I like these challenges, as the school finished 10th last year in cross country and now we are champions. Now, I have scholarship money to recruit for indoors and outdoors for the 2019-20 season.

"I love this US Scholarship Elite Programme because I want to give back. As a young athlete, there were people who took me from scratch and moulded me to be successful. This has allowed me to reach where I am now, and I want to return the favour as young people are my heart," continued Turner, who was in her second year in the Elite Programme in Jamaica.

She noted that she was also happy about the student turnout at the convention.

"When I looked at the faces of these young athletes before me, and how they sat and listened while I poured out my life story to them, it was very touching," she said.

Turner, who said that it was a tough decision to leave Winston Salem, had some final encouraging words for the athletes who turned up last Friday.

"I want them to embrace the challenges as youngsters and high-school students. Embrace the hard times, embrace the times when you feel like not coming to training, push yourself on the hardest day, and love that day, as those days will make you comfortable when you are out of your uncomfortable situation," she said.