Tue | Mar 21, 2023

Vere coach hoping Turner’s pep talk will inspire athletes

Published:Tuesday | February 7, 2023 | 1:46 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Vere Technical High’s track and field coach Christopher Harley (right) gives some advice to Class Two distance runner Ashara Frater during the JAAA/Jamalco Development meet at the Jamalco Sports Club last Saturday.
Vere Technical High’s track and field coach Christopher Harley (right) gives some advice to Class Two distance runner Ashara Frater during the JAAA/Jamalco Development meet at the Jamalco Sports Club last Saturday.

Last Saturday, Olympian and former Vere Technical High middle-distance star Inez Turner had a quick five-minute talk with members of the track team at her alma mater during the JAAA/Jamalco Development meet in Clarendon and according to head coach Christopher Harley, the athletes soaked up the short and sweet motivational speech.

He now hopes that the speech will breathe some life and hope into his young charges ahead of this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.

“Based on what Inez has done for Vere Tech, imparting her knowledge to these young kids means a lot. It may just spark something, as these moments can ignite the flame in the mind and inspire these kids to want to emulate her.”

Turner, the former national senior and junior champion over 800m, reminded the youngsters that she too started her track exploits on the very Jamalco grass field that they were participating on and reminded them that hard work and dedication was the key to success.

Gone are the days when Vere Technical dominated Girls’ Championships from their very first hold on the title in 1967 to winning 15 straight years between 1979 and 1993.

When one mentions Vere in high school track and field, the names of outstanding athletes such as Veronica Campbell-Brown, Deon Hemmings-McCatty, Aileen Bailey, Beverly McDonald, and Lacena Golding-Clarke readily come to mind, and Harley is hoping that his young charges can come of age like their predecessors.

“We have a young team this year once again and we are still weak in our Class One. We are going to be heavily dependent on our Class Four, Three and Two,” Clarke said.

After finishing ninth at at last year’s championships with 53 points in the girls’ section and 20th with just 10 points on the boys’ side, Harley is keen on continuing his work to build a long-lasting programme which he hopes will one day reap success once again.

“We have some talented kids, but our main aim right now is to get them in the right frame of mind. Strength and confidence are two of our main weaknesses and once we can overcome those, we can do big things,” he said.