By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In her little corner of the track, Coach Ericca Frederick is carving out her own niche, working with U13 athletes. During the March 13-14 Inter Primary School Track and Field Championships, five of her athletes were crowned Division Champions in both A and B Divisions and one Victor and Victrix Ludorum.
A former athlete who has been coaching since she returned from college in Jamaica in 2008, Frederick works with athletes on Fast Lane Jr. Track Club, part of the late Dag Samuels main club.
It’s the most Division Champions she has ever coached in the Inter Primary Championships.
“Most of these children are very determined,” she noted. “They push themselves in training, they give 100% and even when they’re tired, they still push themselves all the way, especially Chelsey Edwards. She never one day complained that she’s tired.”
Frederick said the others use the St. Georges Primary School student who won the A Division Victrix Ludorum as the Rabbit when they’re training. “They really push a lot behind of her,” Frederick noted.
She wasn’t really surprised to have coached five division champions especially in the U9 Boys Division which was claimed by Jackhoy Barnes of Joyce Samuel, Frederick said
“Looking around with the other coaches, not many of them had U9 Boys,” she said. “He started training about two months ago.” Byrson Walters of Althea Scatliffe also won the U9 Boys A Division title.
Joyce Samuel’s Clariq Frett, who also shared the B Division Victor Ludorum and competed in the U11 Boys class, she described as a ‘go getter.’ “He came out very good this year, last year he had his cousin Tiondre Frett (Althea Scatliffe), they’re still in the same age group this year, but they’re in two different divisions. He always tries to get where is cousin is.”
Frederick said Cedar School’s Sam Potgieter who won the U13 Boys title, was the surprise.
“He’s actually like a distance runner, but even when you give him sprints in training, anything you give him to do, he gives you 100%,” she pointed out. “If you give him jumps, he goes all out in jumping, he’s just a person who likes challenges.”
Frederick, a Phys Ed Teacher says coaching at the youth level is important because it’s the foundation and once she gets them out training, she knows she’s working on developing them and it will help how far they get in the future. She’s always proud when they excel.
“I always look back at my first athlete who’s doing very well in the United States, Adaejah Hodge, coaching Chelsea reminds me of her,” she said. “They always push themselves 100%, they’re focused; they don’t really talk much in training or play around. They take what they’re doing seriously.”
She’s currently working with 10-15 in Fast Lane Jrs. and they represent Althea Scatliffe, St. Georges, Joyce Samuel, Cedar Schools and since Inter Primary, athletes from Pelican Gate have joined her stable.
As a former athlete, who ran the sprints and did field events, she said she just loves the sport and also plays Volleyball and Softball.
“I just love running,” she stated. “Growing up, if my mother sent me to the shop, I would never walk, I would always run. Even if I was asked to walk, I would run. That’s me, I just love track and field and I enjoyed the running. Even going to college in Jamaica watching Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and the other Olympic athletes, it inspired me more.”
She ran from 100m to 800m and dabbled in the Discus Throw, of which she has fond memories.
“One day, I came out to do the Discus Throw just to give my house some points and I actually beat the biggest girl in high school in the Discus, Suduraine Tuitt, may her soul rest in peace, I came out and broke the record that was there,” she said.
Federick said she and fellow coaches would like to get the necessary equipment in developing the territory’s athletes. She said they’re trying to push hurdles and need children hurdles that can be adjusted to different heights, so that they can start training children early in hurdling technique.
“Right now, we wanted to start doing some high jumping, something you start from U11, U13, but Hurricane Irma destroyed our high jump beds,” she explained. “We’re waiting until another bed comes so that we can start developing high jumpers. In past, I realized in the BVI, we really developed in field events. Long Jump for example, is a very important event in track and field for development. It’s an on and off event. Sometimes you have good days, sometime bad days, but some of the pits need more upgrading.”
Frederick said some people aren’t interested in field events, but that’s where most medals have been won in Jr. competitions.
“In past Leeward Islands meets we went to, Heptathlete Arianna Hayde, when she ran and did all those events, I always watched her and told her coach Grandfather (Ralston Henry), I can see Arianna as being a Heptathlete in the future and she’s one right now,” she said. “What used to really push her was the long jumping and the ball throw.”
Brathwaithe doubles on Collegiate scene
Indiana freshman Rikkoi Brathwaite made his outdoor debut by winning a sprint double in the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Arizona. Brathwaite won the 100m in 10.45 seconds, then completed the double with a 21.34 seconds ruin in the desert.
Clemson Jr. Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner ran a season’s best of one minute .37 seconds, to finish second in the North Florida Spring Break Invitational 400m Hurdles.
Iowa Central sophomore Akeem Bradshaw went to winners row on the Arkansas Spring Invitational, with a Long Jump leap of 7.26m.
Barton County College sophomore Adriano Gumbs with the 400m at the Emporia State Invitational with a time of 48.75 seconds.
Competing in Florida, Plantation High School Sr. Chaz Fahie was sixth in the 800m in 1 minute, 57.90 seconds, becoming one of a handful of BVI high school aged athletes to break the 2:00.00 minute barrier. His time places him No 9 on the BVI All Time List.