By Zaheer Mohamed
Chairman of the Region Nine (Rupununi) Athletics club Kenrick Lewis feels that the sport is on the rise in the District.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport on Friday last at St. Joseph High School, Lewis, who hails from the Essequibo river island of Wakenaam, said Region Nine posses a number of talented athletes who can represent Guyana with distinction in the near future.
Lewis who graduated with a degree from the International University of Physical Education and Sports in Cuba in 2007 said the training of the athletes is being done on a regular basis in various locations due to the vastness of the area.
He was confident that the District would have done well hadn’t the rain intervened at the 54th National Schools Athletics Championships. “We brought some very good athletes to compete in the middle and long distance races which were evident in the 10k Road Race and the Girls U-20 800m,” he added.
Simona Lawrence copped the road race, while Mary Leandrew won the Girls U-20 800m event, both of Region Nine.
The chairman said that there is still a lot of work needs to be done as it relates to the training of their athletes (juniors and seniors). “We are hoping to meet with the trainers across Rupununi shortly to have them upgraded with the help of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG). We want our athletes to be trained throughout the year so that they can improve in all aspects,” said Lewis.
He feels that there is a dire need for an Athletics gym in the area so that athletes can become well rounded which will improve their performance adding that the support of the business community is vital. “Business are on stream, but there is a need for them to contribute a little more so that the athletes can be well equipped because next year when the schools’ championship most likely will be held at the Synthetic track at Leonora, they cannot run bare footed,” Lewis stated.
When quizzed about the club’s plans for 2015, Lewis pointed out that they are waiting on the calendar of events from the AAG to know how to set their programme so as to meet those events.
“We are hoping to run off a meet prior to the 2015 CARIFTA Games trials and another on Olympic day in May,” he said.
Lewis strongly feels that athletes selected from the Region to represent Guyana at Regional meets in the future must be trained in Rupununi. “There are too many distractions in the city which can somewhat affect their preparation. The environment is not conducive for distance runners due to pollution and the natural landscape,” Lewis explained.
He expressed gratitude to treasurer of the club Joyce Lawrence, former chairman Sugreem Singh, Bhoowan Sidari Trucking Service, Takutu Gas Station, Macedo Gas Station, Ken Grant, Regional Education Office, Regional Administration Office, parents and guardians and Toshaos for their continued support.
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