James continues strong jumps tradition at JC
Jamaica College has developed a reputation for producing some of the nation's best young athletic jumpers in recent times and triple jumper Andre Douglas looks destined to continue that tradition.
The Ruel James-coached athlete, who is set continue his development overseas at the University of Texas at Austin where he received a scholarship, recorded a personal best at last weekend's National Senior Trials.
"I really expected it because I was working for it in training. It wasn't really a surprise jumping the 15.30m, because I knew I had it in me so I just came out to the trials and tried to do my best and i got it," said the confident Douglas.
Douglas narrowly missed out on a medal at this year's staging of the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships when he finished fourth, behind another Jamaica College athlete in third, Safin Wills and said his coach has been an inspiration.
"I think he has had a great impact on our jumpers. He's really a hard working coach and he always has new moves and ideas for us in our training sessions and it has really helped us to improve over time," said Douglas.
James, who has been working with Douglas since he was in class three, said he is delighted with the youngster's progress.
"He's a humble individual and over the years he has developed the love for it (jumping) and he is do well. I'm happy for him and that I was able to help put him in the position to receive a scholarship," he said.
James, who represented Jamaica College and Jamaica at youth level in the jumps, says he is happy to be able to impart his knowledge and experience onto younger athletes and help with their development.
"As a former jumper myself, I've learned a lot and I never reached that far so I'm happy to pass in on to these athletes," said James.
He now coaches the long, high and triple jump at Jamaica College and has helped to produce jumpers such as Obrien Wasome, who won gold medals in the in the class one long jump and class one triple jump at Champs 2016.