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Track coaches hold their ground

Track coaches hold their ground

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There is at least one matter about which track and field coaches here are in agreement — they will not accept substandard surfaces to hold a major event.{{more}}

Last Saturday morning, at the Sion Hill Playing Field, Godfrey Harry, Michael Ollivierre and Wally Mc Kie agreed that the surface at that facility was not suitable for staging the heats for the national club championships, under the auspices of Team Athletics SVG.

The decision by the coaches led to the postponement of the heats, to possibly, Saturday, April 12, at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

Coach of the Great Head club and the West St George Secondary School Wally Mc Kie told SEARCHLIGHT that the surface was not ready for hosting a competition of such a magnitude.

He noted that apart from the visible holes, the track was without lanes, and this, he thought, would have been detrimental to the safety of the athletes.

“How can you run 100 and 200 without lanes? People will be tripping over one another”, Mc Kie commented.

The planned heats should have seen the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m preliminaries for the under-16, under-18, under-20 and over-20, for both males and females.

Mc Kie also thought that the organisers themselves were not adequately prepared, as there were not enough officials on hand to ensure an efficient staging of the heats.

“The club championships are your major event, and should be bigger than inter-school and should be given greater prominence,” Mc Kie said.

Also lending his support was coach of the IT-DAT set-up, Michael Ollivierre, who referred to the situation as “atrocious” to SEARCHLIGHT.

Ollivierre cited the holes on the surface, the absence of the lanes on the track, as well as the presence of droppings from animals, which influenced his decision not to allow his athletes’ participation .

The other concern raised was the fact the some athletes are preparing for international competitions, and exposing them a surface not “conducive” could cause injuries.

Among the athletes who turned up at the heats were members of the Thomas Saunders Secondary School team, who are to travel to the United States of America later this month to be part of the Penn Relays in Pennsylvania.

Reports are that efforts are being made to have the deferred heats reset to this Saturday at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, during the hosting of the juvenile championships.(RT)

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