Wes­ley Pow­ell meet hailed for its over-dis­tance fo­cus

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Shayne Fair­man Gleaner Writer

DE­SPITE BE­ING one of just three mid­dle- and over-dis­tance events on the lo­cal cal­en­dar for the past 14 years, Des­mond Shake­speare, com­mit­tee chair­man for the Wes­ley Pow­ell Heart In­sti­tute of the Caribbean Track and Field Meet, is hop­ing for con­tin­ued im­prove­ments to their Ex­cel­sior High School­hosted event.

The meet, which be­gan in 1998 to hon­our late founder Dr As­ton Wes­ley Pow­ell, will take place on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 10, be­gin­ning at 8:30 a.m.

It was launched inside Ex­cel­sior’s au­di­to­rium yes­ter­day.

Vet­eran track and field coach Mau­rice Wil­son, who was a guest speaker at the event, lauded event or­gan­is­ers for stick­ing to the over-dis­tance for­mat, which in his view helps with de­vel­op­ment.

While over 1,700 ath­letes have rep­re­sented around 53 teams in the last two years, the meet chair­man told The Gleaner that they are aiming to have more ath­letes and more spec­ta­tors.

“It’s been grow­ing, and the par­tic­i­pa­tion has been ex­cel­lent from the other schools. If we get 2,000 ath­letes this year, it would be good be­cause we have the fa­cil­i­ties to house them, our warm-up field is dif­fer­ent from where the track is and the whole Ex­cel­sior has at least three fields which we utilise,” he out­lined.

The meet will fea­ture 40 track events and 36 field events for males and fe­males in classes one to four. The events in­clude; the 150m, 300m, 600m, 1000m, 3000m, 500m and 4x300m open, re­spec­tively.

There will also be long jump, high jump; dis­cus and javelin open com­pe­ti­tion in the same classes.

Clubs, col­leges and in­sti­tu­tions can also com­pete.

MEASURING STICK

Meet di­rec­tor, Olympian Grace Jack­son, calls it an im­por­tant measuring stick for coaches ahead of the new track and field sea­son.

Mean­while, the call for ath­lete screen­ing prior to par­tic­i­pa­tion in com­pet­i­tive sports is high on the agenda of ti­tle spon­sors Heart In­sti­tute of the Caribbean.

They will be host­ing an im­por­tant ath­lete work­shop on Healthy Hearts and How to Know Your Heart Is Healthy on the pre­ced­ing Fri­day at 11:00 a.m. at the school.

Gates will be open to all stu­dent-ath­letes across the is­land, who will get a chance to in­ter­act with car­di­ol­o­gists from the Heart In­sti­tute of the Caribbean dur­ing the ses­sion.

There will be three hon­ourees at the meet this year – Al­li­son Peart, from the Ex­cel­sior com­mu­nity; sprint coach Glen Mills; and ad­min­is­tra­tor Ian Forbes.

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