Idea is to develop high performance athletes
Head Coach of the Bedford All-Stars Athletic Club, Wayne Walcott has major plans for a
Health and Sport Science Fitness Institute that will provide services for high performance training of all elite athletes at Coverden, East Bank Demerara.
Walcott told Kaieteur Sport in an interview that Guyana desperately needs such an institute to facilitate athletes with specific needs. He said that the idea is to tap into the ‘sport tourism’ industry with the innovative concept.
“The nature of the venture is to get into the sports tourism industry. We will be looking at elite athletes and those who have high performance needs like a touring team and athletes that will be coming down from overseas,” Walcott explained.
This project was initiated in 2006 at Garnett Street, Campbellville but had to move owing to limited space to house equipment. The Bedford All-Star Coach said that he has already received approval for the new facility at Coverden. “I have the plan approved by the NDC (Neighbourhood Democratic Council) and it’s just on me now to build; construction will begin at the end of this year. The first phase of this project is almost completed though,” he confirmed.
Walcott said that the office for the institute, which he referred to as the first phase, will be officially opening next month to commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the Bedford All Stars Athletic Club that was founded in February, 2000.
The club was credited with the performances of Rawle Greene in its genesis, but a fallout among administrators of the club had forced Greene and some of the other senior athletes to form what is now the Running Braves Athletics Club.
The Bedford All-Stars Club was forced to start from scratch owing to the departure of the crème de le crème, which included among Greene as captain, Tai Payne, Lee Prowell and Olive Phillips along with some notable juniors.
“Over the years, the club was able to develop with limited resources, but lack of support from administrators and bureaucracy surrounding its administration, the club was stifled and prevented from reaching its true potential,” he said. However, that did not deter the coach from striving for excellence in sport performances, and his idea to create the Health and Sport Institute is testament to the fact. He said it will be an “auxiliary” of the Bedford All-Stars Club. “It is an auxiliary of the Bedford Club, which later in this year will be called the Bedford Athletic Academy where we will be developing high performance athletes with the view of erasing the mediocrity in athletes’ preparation,” Walcott stated.
He believes that Guyana must be able to provide services that are akin to most developed countries. He said that when athletes come from those parts they must be able to access a lot of the services they are accustomed to at home. The services that will be available at the Centre include sports consultancy, sport massage including injury rehabilitation, physiotherapy, models of training for all high performance sports, sports nutrition and biomechanics for all sport.
“We will also be designing training and nutritional regimens for athletes from all sports. I will be doing a lot of research to improve sport in Guyana. I will be looking at the quality of training and the factors involved,” Walcott posited. “Our entire objective is to develop potential national sports systems for the elite and most high performance athletes.
The revenue to run this project will come from a farm that I’m in the process of developing on 20 acres of land,” he continued.
According to Walcott, both Administrators and Coaches alike must begin to acknowledge that fitness is important to high performance and that sport and science go hand-in-hand. Anything else, he said, will produce failed results.
“If Administrators don’t take highway to sport science Guyana will not be able to make it on the world stage of sport. It doesn’t matter what happens here, once our athletes are not reaching the international stage, we are not really doing anything,” he said.
Walcott envisions his Health and Sport Science Fitness Institute as the answer to many of the problems that plague sport locally and the service of international athletes. Once there is a will, there is usually a way. Walcott believes that.
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