Wed | Aug 12, 2020

Sprintec adjusting to lockdown

Published:Friday | April 24, 2020 | 12:20 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Sprintec Track Club head coach Maurice Wilson at the club’s base at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St Catherine.
Sprintec Track Club head coach Maurice Wilson at the club’s base at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St Catherine.

THE ST Catherine lockdown because of COVID-19 has forced the Spanish Town-based Sprintec Track Club to change the way it trains. The adjustment has led Sprintec head coach Maurice Wilson to improvise to keep his athletes fit, and now the club is doing everything by telephone.

“It has been difficult, but we understand what has to be done from a nationwide perspective, and so we have been trying our best to adjust to what is happening,” Wilson said.

Face-to-face coaching has been eliminated.

“We had some amount of face-to-face [interaction], but, because we were adhering to the [social] distance [policy] and so on, it didn’t affect the protocol. But now there is really no contact apart from phone contact,” he said.

In addition, there are club members who can’t get to the club’s home, the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, for training.

“Generally speaking, I think the problem that we are now having is that, for most of the persons who are not able to travel to the facility, it is unfortunate that they don’t necessarily have a facility around them where they can work out. So what we have been doing is doing everything online in terms of communication, in terms of improvising to maintain fitness,” he said.

In addition to governing the hours and movement of citizens in the parish, the lockdown prohibits transit in and out of St Catherine.

Wilson said that fitness for the world-class athlete is not the same as for the average citizen.

“I believe, and as a person who has been spending some time in the field, that you must be at least 80 per cent of where you would normally be at this time of the year,” he said. “We are very happy, though, that our competitors, those who are not caught in similar situations, are able to get some work done, because, when we think about the whole picture, it’s really Jamaica, if we think about the Olympics, and not any individual one person.”

Wilson is the coach of World and Commonwealth 400m runner Demish Gaye, 2018 Commonwealth 400m runner-up Anastasia Le-Roy, 2018 Commonwealth and 2019 World 100m hurdles semi-finalist Yanique Thompson, 2014 Commonwealth 200m champion Rasheed Dwyer, and World 4x100m relay gold medallist Natasha Morrison.