July 24, 2012

Track and field athletes are not being left out of the various summer sports programs being conducted around the country.{{more}}

More than 60 athletes are involved in a program conducted by Michael ‘Mercy’ Ollivierre, at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, which is expected to run for the entire summer vacation.

Ollivierre, leader of the IT DAT (Integrated Team Developing Athletic Talent) athletics club, said that the program is open to persons who are interested in taking up track and field as a sport, as well as for athletes who are looking to develop their skills over the summer vacation.

The internationally recognized coach said that the program is open to all ages, and hopes that the training received would be of benefit to the athletes and to the sport on a whole.

“I am trying to do some work in hurdles and middle distance; and I have some fairly good sprinters who are coming along. I expect to make quick progress in the hurdles and middle distance because of the nature of the competition on the island.

“I have a core of about thirty who are committed, and should get some good results next year.”

The program is conducted on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, and is divided into morning and afternoon sessions.

Ollivierre indicated that the number of athletes in training at the facility is expected to increase, as he is about to integrate his programme with that of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Athletics Association this week.

The veteran coach says that he is looking forward to the merge, which will see more athletes prepared for the upcoming athletics season, which is expected to be hectic.

One athlete who hopes to gain as much as possible for the program, is New York based track runner Maria Howard.

The 15-year-old daughter of Vincentians Neil and Karen Howard, who is here on vacation, told SEARCHLIGHT that she would use the opportunity to improve her already impressive abilities.

A student at the Mary Louis All Girls Academy, Mariah pointed out that she is the second best athlete in her age group.

“I hear that Mercy is a very good coach, and I hope that he could give me training, so that when I go back to New York I could be faster.”

“I run the 100, 200, 400 and hurdles and I always come first; its very rare that I lose,” she pointed out.

“It’s very competitive and challenging, but with the competition, it helps you to want to strive to do better. Hopefully, if I do well enough, I could come back and represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the CARIFTA Games.”

Persons interested in taking advantage of the program are invited to go to the Arnos Vale Playing Field from Monday to Saturday, at 10 a.m.(JJ)