Vincentian Track and Field Coach, Michael “ Lord Have Mercy” Ollivierre has had back-to-back honours bestowed on him from Jamaica’s St Elizabeth Technical High(STETH).
Last Friday January 26, 2024, Ollivierre was honoured at a ceremony held in Santa Cruz, Jamaica.
The following day, it was announced that the STETHS Invitational will be renamed in Ollivierre’s honour, along with the late Eldemire Smith, who died in 2023.
As such, from 2025, the event will be known as the Ollivierre/Smith Invitational.
Receiving the accolades with humility, Ollivierre expressed gratitude for the gestures, noting that he “loves track and field dearly”, and was glad that Jamaica gave him that platform, to “help others realise their potentials”.
He said that recognition was “special”, in that he also had the support of some of his immediate family.
Ollivierre, who left St Vincent and the Grenadines for studies at the University of the West Indies in the late 1970s, blossomed into a successful track and field coach, notching up many accolades.
His tenacity as head coach of STETHS forged a pathway, making that institution a consistent top five finisher at the Boys and Girls Championships.
During his tenure at STETHS, Ollivierre produced ten Olympians.
Among them was Olympic and World Championships 400 metres hurdles runner-up Winthrop Graham, as well as Gregory Haughton.
Ollivierre also had strong hands in the development of other athletes via the STETHS programme, including Olympians Dennis Blake, Anthony Wallace and Ian Weakley, among others.
Not new to recognition by STETHS, Ollivierre, in 2017, was the toast of the Alumni who hosted five days of activities dubbed “Coach Ollivierre Appreciation Celebration”.
Ollivierre spent 13 years at STETHS as the Sports Director from 1981 to 1994, whilst attaining the then IAAF (now World Athletics) Level 5 coaching status.
Adding to Ollivierre’s list of accomplishments at STETHS, were the 91 Track and Field scholarships he procured for Jamaican athletes to US universities and colleges and the eight individual champions secured at the Penn Relays in the USA.
Coach Ollivierre returned to the Eastern Caribbean in 1997, when he took up duties in St Lucia at the OECS Sports Desk.
Back in the land of his birth St Vincent and the Grenadines from 2010 to the present, this country has benefited from Ollivierre’s expertise, as he is the head coach of the potent IT- DAT (Integrated Team Developing Athletic Talent) Academy.