Pan American bronze medallist Shakera Reece has been grounded until her camp can raise at least $50 000 to fund her training and preparation towards the London 2012 Olympic Games next year.
Coach Mike Gaskin told NATIONSPORT yesterday they had put a programme in place for 23-year-old Reece, but a lack of funding was hampering how much they could effectively do.
Reece raced to a Barbados record of 11.26 seconds earlier this year at the Pan American Games in the 100 metres, but the sponsors haven’t exactly been beating down the door.
“Right now, the overseas meets are up in the air because we have to see where the money will come from,” Gaskin said.
“As far as I am concerned 2011 is done and we need to regroup and look at 2012, which is not possible without funding. There are a number of things we would like to do, including a few indoors and the World Indoor Championships,” he said.
Those championships will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from March 9 to 11.
“I would like a short European circuit like what we did this year, three or four meets. This is the Olympics and you don’t want to run yourself into the ground.”
Last year, Reece spent five weeks at a training camp in Dallas, Texas, prior to the games in Guadalajara, Mexico, at a cost of $8 000. Two of those camps are on the cards again, one in the indoor season and the other for outdoors.
A similar schedule will be adhered to for outdoors, with some Classics in the United States and camp.
“I don’t want to race all year and when we get to the Olympics we are either tired or strained. I prefer a few meets, training, a few more meets and then going into the Olympics injury-free and not have any niggles because we ran all year,” he explained.
Health will also play a big part in the budget.
“Once you are healthy, it is easier. If you are injured, if you have any strains the costs will be different because you will need regular treatment.”
Although Reece has met the “A” qualifying standard of 11.29 seconds in the 100 metres, she will be required to match or improve it during the year to make the Barbados team.
She has to come back to Barbados for the National Championships in June and Gaskin said this part of the programme entailed another camp in Texas and pre-Olympic competition.
With no word yet from the Amateur Athletic Association on their calendar, Gaskin said they hadn’t included local meets, but Reece would make herself available to represent Barbados.