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Houston calling

Govt joining with University to help athletes

Carl Lewis’ historic trip to the island won’t be a one-off affair.

This was revealed by Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley today, who disclosed that Lewis will be returning later this year to conduct a second coaching clinic.

He broke the refreshing news while delivering remarks at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium this morning, just before the legendary American athlete delivered a motivational speech to just over 400 children.

During his brief three-day visit to the island, Lewis, along with William Blackburn the associate head coach at the University of Houston, conducted the Scotiabank Springer Memorial Power Play Sprint/Jump Clinic at the National Stadium.

Carl Lewis makes this young athlete's day with a 'high five'.

Carl Lewis makes this young athlete’s day with a ‘high five’.

The one-day clinic was attended by arbout 25 athletes, who were taught the correct sprinting and jumping techniques.

Lashley gave his assurance that as part of Government’s continued efforts to support its athletes, they had entered into a partnership with the University of Houston –– where Lewis coaches –– and where several Barbadian athletes have already made their mark.

Former Springer Memorial student Sade Mariah-Greenidge is already enrolled at the university, while sprinters Mario Burke and Tristan Evelyn are set to join the programme this fall.

A section of the hundreds of athletes that turned up this morning at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

A section of the hundreds of athletes that turned up this morning at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

“I am very pleased this morning to announce the first of such collaborations is proposed for later this year, November to be precise, when we expect Carl and a small team from the University of Houston will conduct a Coaching for Excellence Workshop,” Lashley announced.

“That workshop will be aimed primarily at enhancing the skills of a wide range of coaches in Barbados.”

“I want to pledge the continuous support of certainly the government and the ministry that I lead, to always support our athletes in their quest for glory. Of course we will be redoubling our efforts in this regard and it is within this context that we have signalled to Carl and William and by extension the team at the University of Houston our desire to partner with them over a long-term period in strengthening our sports development programme here in Barbados,” the minister added.

In lauding Lewis for his contribution, he also emphasised the need to recognise the importance of athletic programmes in our schools.

As such, Lashley said he had asked the Government to acknowledge those schools which had made a sterling contribution to athletics in the island.

The minister maintained that Springer Memorial should be among those schools recognised.

“I believe that it is time that we formally and officially recognise the importance of the athletic programmes within our schools and I believe we need to identify at least about two schools in Barbados and have them recognised as schools of athletic fame… and Springer must be one of those schools.

“But I believe that we have to be able to have these two schools of sporting excellence and to ensure that they are appropriately funded to give that outlet to all of our aspiring athletes,” Lashley outlined.

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