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Toast to coaches and athletes

RIA GOODMAN, [email protected]

Toast to coaches and athletes

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Long-standing coach Wendy Barrow-Smith was among three coaches honoured Monday at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships (BSSAC) awards ceremony at the Christ Church Foundation School.

Barrow-Smith and retired physical education teachers Geoffrey Burke, of the St George Secondary School, and Harold Ruck, of Graydon Sealy Secondary, were lauded for their outstanding work, which led to the success of many Barbadian athletes.

A coach of 39 years’ standing, Barrow-Smith said she was pleased to be recognised since the spotlight was often placed solely on the athlete.

“It was good to be recognised for the work you did. A lot of times coaches are not recognised. People look at the finished product in terms of the athlete but they don’t know the work that goes on behind the scenes,” she said.

Barrow-Smith explained that being a coach surpassed simply guiding athletes in their specific sports since coaches had a major task in encouraging the athlete.

“Some of the children don’t have any motivation. Some of them are stubborn and sometimes you have to work twice as hard. In this generation it’s even worse. Some of them have potential and they don’t even care about the sport. They don’t understand how far a sport can take you and what it can do for you,” she added.

The founder of the BC Trac Club and nine-time winner at the National Championships in both the shot put and discus events has coached a number of former national record holders and CARIFTA champions, including Wilan Louis, Michelle Garvey, Shernelle Nichols and Dave Taylor.

Also receiving awards at the cermony was CARIFTA gold medallist Jonathan Jones, who was the Most Outstanding Athlete in the 5 000 metres at this year’s BSSAC and Most Outstanding Distance Athlete, having also won the 800, 1 500 and 3 000 metres among the boys.

Mary Fraser of Daryll Jordan Secondary School was the Most Outstanding Distance Athlete, having won the 800, 1 500 and 3 000 metres. She also captured the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity’s Most Outstanding Female Award, which included a scholarship. It includes a management training course, a development seminar and a two-week summer attachment, inclusive of a stipend.

Alexandra were named the Most Improved in the boys’ category, while Queen’s College were Most Improved in the girls’ section. (RG)

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