Thu | Jun 4, 2020

Big push for bobsled

Published:Friday | November 1, 2019 | 12:23 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Carrie Russell (left) National female bobsledder, shows off her bobsledding skills to Denzil Wilks (centre), general manager of the Sports Development Foundation, and Christian Stokes (right), president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, during a training session at G.C. Foster College, yesterday.
Carrie Russell (left) National female bobsledder, shows off her bobsledding skills to Denzil Wilks (centre), general manager of the Sports Development Foundation, and Christian Stokes (right), president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, during a training session at G.C. Foster College, yesterday.

President of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation Chris Stokes, says that his organisation is planning on hosting a number of international Push Start invitational events, following the acquisition of a brand-new sled and portable track.

The sled and track, which were brought into the island at a combined cost of CAD$100,000 (J$10.9 million), is currently located at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St Catherine.

Stokes described the development as a major accomplishment for the growth of the sport in the country and noted that Jamaica would benefit a lot in general from it.

“This track will put us in a position to be able not only to train, but we can host our own Push championships here,” Stokes told The Gleaner.

“We can also now host international competitions because we can have invitationals with the United States and Canada, for example, and it also put us in a position to bid to host world Push championships right in Jamaica, right here at G.C. Foster College,” Stokes said. “It is also an important and material development in the history of Jamaica bobsleigh and skeleton.”

Stokes underlines that the new sled and track will improve the performances of the Jamaican teams, which he believes can now be better prepared for the international tournaments.

“It is really an excellent piece of equipment for us to train and prepare for the season, and so it has been a very good investment and we are happy to have it,” Stokes said. “It will allow us to select athletes better and to train better, and so it has been a very positive experience.”

“It puts us in a position where we can start the season much better prepared to push and to get world-class push times and, therefore, focus on other aspects of the race,” he said.

GRATEFUL TO SPONSORS

Stokes added that he is very grateful to their sponsors and supporters who worked tirelessly in assisting the federation to bring the sled and track into the island.

“Before this, we would not be able to push until we travel late into the fall or earlier in the winter, but now, we can train our pushing teams all summer long right here in Jamaica, and that is a very important advantage for us,” Stokes said.

“Before we couldn’t consider entertaining a dozen or two dozen people for training because we would have to be thinking about how we can fly these people to Canada to see how well they can push, but right now, we can test their pushing ability right here,” he stated.