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.
WIPNET Gbarnga Women Celebrate receiving Alflait Independence Day GiftAs part of Alfalit’s International Liberia’s activities in observance of the country’s 171st Independence Anniversary, the organization has donated 25Kg bags of rice and assorted food items to over 800 women, who are from the Women in Peace Building Network (WIPNET) residing in five of the 15 counties.Many of the women, who benefited from Alfalit’s gesture, were in the age range of 50 and living in “extreme poverty.”On the distribution list, women from Montserrado County received 313 bags of rice; Bomi County, 100 bags; Grand Bassa County, 50 bags; Bong County, 294 bags; and Margibi County, 40 bags. Other items donated included gallons of vegetable oil, onions and beans.This year’s donation, which is the largest of Alfalit’s goodwill gesture, is carried out twice a year — during the festive season of July 26, Liberia’s Independence Day, and in December during the Christmas season.Reverend Emmanuel Giddings, Alfalit-Liberia Country Director, said that the donation is meant to help the women, especially those residing in poverty stricken communities, to sustain their families during the Independence Day celebrations.“Festive days are times for all people to be happy and not time for one to sit and worry about what to eat or wear. So this donation can help. Our work is not to distribute food to people, but to teach them to read and write, but we are doing this to make you happy this July 26. The donation to WIPNET is part of Alfalit’s corporate social responsibility and continuous support to WIPNET as well as to poor and underprivileged women.“Although the country is now peaceful and people are moving on with their lives, Alfalit International Liberia still appreciates the role of the WIPNET Women in helping to restore peace to Liberia during the civil war, and we feel by doing this is just to show them that we have not forgotten them,” Marie Morris, Alfalit Field Monitor, said at the start of the donation in Kakata, Margibi County, and Gbarnga, Bong County.Receiving the donation in Gbarnga, Bong County, WIPNET County Coordinator, Cerue Lyeah, thanked Alfalit International for the donation and described the gesture as timely and life-saving.“I want to be so grateful to Alfalit International for this timely donation which will indeed sustain their homes for a month. You’ve just saved us during this difficult economic time. We will never forget what Alfalit has done for our women today,” Madam Lyeah added.She further appreciated Alfalit International for teaching the women to read and write over the years, something she said has brought great changes in the lives of the women under the peace hut.“Because of Alfalit, most of the women can now read, write and sign their own names; they are no longer using their thumbs to sign,” the Gbarnga WIPNET coordinator said.In all the counties, towns and places visited, jubilation by the women marked the distribution, with the recipients describing the donation as timely and a great relief to them during this Independence Day celebration week.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)