Stokes excited by Lake Placid course
Chris Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, says the three weeks course for which four Jamaicans were registered in Lake Placid, United States, will help identify and develop Jamaican talent.
Stokes pointed specifically to increasing the driving pool for the next Olympic Games in 2022 and making sledders more rounded individuals as one of the motives of the association.
According to Stokes, the Lake Placid course is a part of a new development plan for the next quadrennial, the next four years between 2018 and 2022, and the course is a process of identifying talent in the high skill areas of skeleton driving and bobsleigh driving.
"At least once a year, we give them an opportunity to try the highest skill. So we have Carrie (Russell) trying the driving, we have (Audrey) Segree on skeleton and we have Nimroy Turgott driving as well as Shanwayne Stephens, and it is three weeks of attention to coaching and development.
"So for somebody just starting, they will get a lot of personalise attention and at the end of this, you will get better sense of who shows a better affinity to a particular activities, who enjoy it and who wants to continue doing it. So when the next season starts, we will be investing in people, who have shown clear capabilities and interest in driving or riding a skeleton," he said.
By developing more drivers, Stokes argue they will have more balance and options. He also noted that driving is a difficult skill that takes time and effort to master.
"We have three bobsleigh drivers and a skeleton athlete. We have to be renewing our driving talent, it takes a long time to develop drivers and we want to give them a fair chance. Last year was focus on high performance and we are back in the development mode now.
"The direction the sport is going, both driver and pusher have to be very good athletes. Carrie is one of the best pushers in the world and she has an interest in driving. If we can get her driving and have another explosive athlete behind her, we will now you have a team.
He continued that Segree was a perfect fit for the skeleton event.
"Segree has the shape, personal discipline and focus to do the skeleton. Her physical stature and her ability to learn very quickly makes her perfect. It's early days yet but they are making very good progress. It's just a great opportunity to identify the next set of guys and we decided to do this one because we want to take full advantage of the four year cycle we are moving in.