Coaches call for more girls
Two of the assistant coaches with the Barbados team to the recently-concluded 43rd CARIFTA Games in Martinique want to see more girls getting involved in track and field.
Jumps coach Desiree Crichlow, herself a former CARIFTA gold medallist, and throws coach Ramon Armstrong said there was a shortage of females competing in both disciplines.
“I definitely would like to see more females in the jumping events and the triple jump, hardly any of the girls are participating in that,” Crichlow said.
“We have to find javelin throwers – boys and girls – and more female throwers in general. Ashley [Williams] and Hayley [Matthews] are all we have,” Armstrong said.
Still, with the limited numbers, both are pleased with the general performance of their individual sections and are already planning for 2015.
The jumpers won three gold medals and one silver and had two fourth places. Two others reached the top eight and several qualified for regional and international meets later in the year.
Crichlow accepted the highs with the lows.
“There were some pleasing performances, but we also had some disappointments. Obviously with Ashantia Phillips [she] was a newcomer, but I expected a lot of her. Also in the Under-18 boys’ high jump, we had a chance there as well but things didn’t come together,” she said.
She also praised the performances of Akela Jones, who won three gold medals, and Shamar Rock, who secured a gold and a silver.
Matthews won a silver medal in the Under-18 girls’ javelin and Romario Antoine got a bronze in the Under-20 boys’ shot put and Dequan Lovell was fourth. Williams did not reach the final of the Under-20 girls’ shot put where she was expected to win a medal and newcomer Triston Gibbons had a rough baptism.
Antoine and Lovell also had personal best throws of 47.96 metres and 42.99 metres, respectively in the discus, despite not winning medals.
Armstrong acknowledged that the level of competition wasn’t as high in the shot put and discus as in previous years, but nerves and fright were the undoing of some athletes.
“Ashley was a little disappointed. She beat up on herself a lot afterward. She said she was a bit nervous, she was frightened.
“As I pointed out to Mr [head coach Bryan] Holder, experience plays a point in this. It was her second CARIFTA. The performance wasn’t quite what she expected. She has another year. We will work on that, and next year, we should see better performances.”
Armstrong said Lovell and Gibbons (15 years) should be back next year and among the prospects are Akiyl Simon and twin brothers Dario and Daryl Sobers. Other performances at Inter School Sports also caught his eye and he hoped to be able to work with some of those young ones this coming season.