Racers GP to fund athlete transitioning

June 08, 2018
Jamaica's Yohan Blake (right) wins the men's 100m in 9.97 seconds ahead of South African Akani Simbine, 10.00 at the JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium last year.

Racers Track Club president Glen Mills said that revenue from Saturday's JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium will be used to help athletes coming out of the high school system to transition to professionalism.

"We put on the meet for the development of young athletes because sponsorship is hard to come by, and, hopefully, after a few years, the meet will be able to generate funds so that we can inject it into the club," Mills said. "We also need to go out and recruit new vibrant talent to continue Jamaica's legacy in track and field. We need vital equipment; starting equipment so that the athletes can become sensitive from an early stage."

The veteran coach said generating money for athlete development is particularly important as many of the athletes coming out of high school have been damaged due to the high intensity of competition they are exposed to at such a tender age.

"Many of these athletes come out of the great high school system as damaged goods," Mills said. "We see them achieve these great feats at championship, but nobody is looking at the side effects that many of them go through. Many of them are just patched together for a great championship."

He continued: "Young juniors running world-class times, race after race after race. Whether we believe or not, it does have an impact and that is why it is no secret that the majority of those who do well at the senior level are the ones who we consider second tier."

Mills said the meet also serves as a platform to expose young talents to international competition, and to also showcase the talents harnessed by the club.

"It is threefold. It will serve to help develop the talent, expose the talents to international competition and also to showcase them to Jamaica," Mills explained.

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