Track Alerts had a great interview with Glen Mills, in case you missed it.
There’s aren’t any secrets here, but the best part of the Q&A was “the last word” on Mills on the state of the sport.
Canada and the USA aren’t the only ones having problems keeping and retaining young elite athletes and the different type of struggles that go along with it, including financial challenges. Just because you have Usain Bolt on your team doesn’t mean everyone is living the high life.
Below is a snippet from Track Alerts. Visit their site for the full article.
TA: Outside of Jamaica, are there any other interests? I know Daniel Bailey from Antigua is here, and a couple of Brits.
GM: “No, but we do get a lot of requests from all over the world…it’s difficult though, for foreigners to come and settle here easily, because most times it’s just one person and a lot of them find it difficult to blend into the Jamaican psyche. Then some of them have all kinds of fears based on the publicity the country gets sometimes, but we do get a lot of requests.
These requests are vetted and investigated and a lot of the people we determine wouldn’t fit into our programme…"
TA: Where are these requests from, USA and England?
GM: “All over the world, from American, Europe, Africa, India, Bangladesh, Japan, you name it.
On the local side, Jermaine Shand has joined our coaching panel. Jermaine is a very good coach, he is somebody that I endorsed as one of the better coaches in the high school system. We are very happy to have him and he certainly boosts our sprinting reservoir…
Coach Cameron deals with a significant portion of the quarter milers, but I also coach quite a number of the quarter milers … What we’re trying to build is an institution that even when I am gone, will be able to provide the kind of high quality preparation for athletes.
There’s been a paradigm shift and its not going to happen for only American anymore. We have thrown down the gauntlet that we are a serious force in the track & field world and that America and Us will be competing for the same medals; it’s obvious the lines have been drawn …
It is clear that we will have to expand and develop more in Jamaica if we are to be serious about the track & field thing … because we are going to have to do it ourselves to get really high quality results.
The past four years have demonstrated that whether from Racers, MVP or another club, that the local athletes are going to be more and more performing at the world level, because the college athletes are not going to be able to get it done while in college…you have to be exceptional, because the system don’t really cater for that; even for the American athlete…
College athletes don’t do that great either…but you will find the exception, but it’s usually after college before they really click.
Right now there’s a handful of athletes who train overseas that are commanding space on our team, Veronica is in a class by herself, probably the greatest female sprinter of all time based on her achievements.
There are a couple others, but regardless, Jamaica is going to have to get it done eventually and we are very slow in the vision because everybody the government, the JAAA, the private section need to pump more into track & field at the senior level.
I’ve long advocated that something needs to be done to make it easy to form clubs the quality of Racers, so that more athletes can get the kind of attention and development locally…
Even we are having a struggle, a struggle to get real development finances, because the athletes who go out and compete need their money and you cannot look to them to provide more than the reasonable percentage that they pay for your services.
It is even a difficulty to get gear. We have a sponsor in Adidas and its difficult to get the equipment for the developing athletes, not even for the ones with contracts with the various companies being Puma, Nike etc…It’s difficult to get the equipment coming into Jamaica.
Right now we are starting our season and we don’t have our 2011-2012 equipment as yet because we are waiting on waivers so that they can be shipped.
The longer it takes is the more risks the athletes will take of getting injured during training, because there are some special technology shoe for people with pronated feet, shin problems and all those various things.
The different quality and delay in getting them puts us at a disadvantage…because they can’t buy it, most of them are not available in the country anyway, and if you were able to buy it, a shoe of that nature is 8,000 to 9,000…so that kind of attention is lacking and I know everybody is happy when the performances comes, but we need more help at