AFTER mixed results from two junior teams at international meets over the past month, head coach of the Pan Am team that earned 13 medals, Michael Carr, thinks good planning for next year’s 16th World Junior Championships in Kazan, Russia, is needed if the country’s young athletes are to excel.The country’s juniors recently participated at the World Youth (Under-18) and Junior Pan Am (Under-20) Championships.”It is no doubt that Jamaica has a lot of talented young athletes, and there are several things we need to do right if we hope to be competitive next year at World Juniors,” Carr told The Gleaner on their return to the island yesterday from Canada.”We need to identify our top athletes after Boys and Girls’ Championships and the Penn Relays and have weekend camps. This does not necessarily have to be in Kingston alone, as there can be county camps,” said Carr.”We have a lot of elite coaches in the country, and the JAAA (Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association) can invite some of these coaches to work alongside the young athletes, as there are several technical flaws among these athletes, and working with these elite coaches, they can be fixed,” he observed.Carr also thinks that high-school coaches need to prioritise.”Some of our coaches in high schools also need to prioritise, as they should decide what is important to these athletes, Boys and Girls’ Championships or being national representatives, and some of them need to let go,” he said.PRIVATE SECTORCarr also called on the private sector to get involved.”Leading up to Champs every year, there are several business companies which helps insponsorship, but they should not stop after Boys and Girls’ Championships, they should pick up the baton after these Championships and continue for the next level, and they need to link up with the JAAA to do so,” said Carr.”I am a bit disappointed that some of these companies only come on stream when these athletes do well, but they need to help before because it is not only physical preparation that is important, as nutrition also plays a very significant role in the preparation of these athletes,” said Carr.Jaheel Hyde, Christopher Taylor, Jhevaughn Matherson, Martin Manley, Raheem Chambers, Nathaniel Bann, Akeem Bloomfield, and Obrien Wasome are some of the outstanding local talents that will be available for next year’s World Junior Championships.Last year, in Eugene, Oregon, Jamaica finished in 11th position overall after winning one gold, two silver and one bronze. Hyde was the gold medallist in the boys’ 400 metres hurdles.
The community of Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara will see the construction of a new Gurukula (learning institution) which is expected to be completed by the year 2020. A ground-breaking ceremony was consecrated with a havan on February 4, 2018, to commence the construction of the building. The land, measuring 300 feet by 100 feet, was donated by the Uitvlugt Arya Samaj.According to Dr Satish Prakash, who spearheads the operations, the building will function as a residential school but following the lines of an ashram as it relates to discipline. The curriculum will be dual-secular and religious and students will live at the institution.The proposed plan of the completed buildingThe aim of the secular curriculum will be to assist those persons who were not successful at their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and wish to rewrite eight of them, so as to gain admission at a university. Dual curriculum caters to CXC subjects, Hindi, Sanskrit, Shastras, yoga and music.Another objective of the organisation is to make it a centre for social service, and also function as a health centre, providing basic health care.Around 400 persons were present at the ceremony. Funds were donated for the construction and many have pledged to donate in the future to complete the institution.Dr Prakash aims at improving the moral values amongst Guyanese which have been diminished under the influence of suicides, broken homes, alcoholism, school dropouts, crime and economic slide. He will also lead the recruitment of teachers. This institution will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean and students will set across Guyana after studying to serve their society.