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Grass track won't hurt, says Bolt

Published:Saturday | April 27, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Superstar Usain Bolt (right) shows a youngster the proper starting technique on a grass surface in this flashback photograph. Bolt recently stated that nothing is wrong with youngsters honing their skills on a grass track. - File

Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator


Sprint king Usain Bolt has recommended that young, up-and-coming athletes from schools in Trelawny and other western parishes should stick to training as much as possible on grass surfaces as opposed to chevron tracks.

Bolt was responding to queries made by The Gleaner as to whether enabling the acquisition of a chevron track for the parish was on The Usain Bolt Foundation's list of priorities for the development of sports in the parish of his birth.

"Nobody has really approached me about it, but, as you can see, Montego Bay is next door and they have a track there and I think most of the schools have good developing fields that have grass, and it helps," Bolt said.

"I think it (grass) is better because running on the chevron all the time gives you shin splints as a young person and so I think running on the grass helps you because then, when you go on the chevron, it feels much better," Bolt said.

He added: "I think younger kids must always train on grass, because it is much easier, it's much fun and it's easier on the body, so when they grow up and become professionals, it is easier for them to work on the chevron."

A chevron track is a synthetic track surface made from a combination of rubber and asphalt. It is smoother and provides extra bounce for athletes. It is designed specially to accommodate the use of running spikes and so is normally used only during competition. In the early training sessions in the track and field season, it is not recommended for even professional athletes to train on as spikes are generally not used by them at that time.

Bolt made the comments during an interview in his home town, Sherwood Content, in Trelawny, following his and the Digicel Foundation's handover of a multipurpose court to the community on Saturday.

The court, which is located on the grounds of the Sherwood Content Community Centre, was constructed at a cost of $4 million and will benefit approximately 1,500 residents from within the community and its environs. The neighbouring football field on the property was also levelled under the project. The Social Development Commission branch in Trelawny will maintain the facility on behalf of the Usain Bolt Foundation.