Reports coming out of a recent sports clinic on Tortola — where junior athletes received one-one-one sessions with the territory’s top professional athletes — are that the juniors were astonished to discover how approachable these local pro athletes were.
Local pro sprinter Ashley Kelly told BVI News that during her coaching session with young athletes at the clinic, the main feedback was the youngsters’ shock when interacting with the elite athletes.
She said: “It’s like, ‘oh we didn’t know you were so nice, I always wanted to get close to you guys and talk to you guys about anything’.”
Kelly said it was important the younger generation of athletes know they have persons to look up to and interact with.
“We want them to know that they can reach out and touch us and know that whatever dream you have, we’ve been through it. We know the challenges especially coming from the same island. We walk the same track that you have, you can just reach out and talk to us, we are always here to help,” Kelly stated.
Clinic was a success
President of the BVIOC Ephraim Penn said he anticipated a much greater turn out on the day but said the objective behind hosting the clinic was achieved.
“The matter of numbers was not what we expected but the enthusiasm of those who came and the knowledge that they gained, I think was priceless. Particularly the senior athletes in the interactive session really painted a clear picture of what it takes to be at the level that they are at,” Penn stated.
Meanwhile, Kyron McMaster — the reigning Commonwealth Games champion in the Men’s 400-metre Hurdles — described the up-and-coming athletes as being very intuitive and good listeners.
He said, “It was very nice that I could have given some knowledge that I’ve gained over the couple years since being professional back. As far as now, we can only speak and watch on and hopefully, that advice would be something that we can see propel onto the future.”
BVI’s future bright in athletics
Pan American Games long jump champion Chantel Malone said she spotted a number of athletes who exhibited substantial potential.
“I know that there is a lot of talent in the BVI. With my area the long jump I saw some people that were actually very good and technically sound, so I think the BVI has a lot of talent and we will be great,” Malone stated.
The four-hour clinic which also included professional field athlete Eldred Henry was dissected into three sessions — educational, practical and anti-doping.
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