Athletes to get tips from two of the best
Aspiring jumpers will learn from two of Bermuda's best when overseas-based long jumpers Tyrone Smith and Arantxa King hold a camp next week at the National Sports Centre.
The camp will serve three purposes, said Bermuda National Athletic Association president Donna Watson — teach youngsters the techniques of jumping, have Smith and King give something back to the sport in Bermuda and allow the youngsters to get to know two of the Island's top track athletes.
King is the daughter of Branwen Smith-King, the first Bermuda athlete to win a medal at the inaugural Carifta Games in Barbados in 1972.
“The idea of the camp was to get Arantxa and Tyrone in Bermuda to get some exposure to the Bermuda public because, as you know they both live in the States and nobody knows them, and also for them to give back,” said Watson who expects a maximum of 25 young athletes to take part in the camp.
“The age group is 11 to 18, children who have been involved in jumping to a certain extent. We will probably have about 20, 25 at the most. I just got a call from another parent today.
“The interesting thing is we have had teachers who have called us and are interested in attending the camp, PE teachers who want to get some experience of jumping, and I thought that would be great. Who better to learn from than the best?”
The camp will run all day next week from 10 to 3pm each day. Smith and King will head back to their respective bases in Texas and Kentucky on Thursday.
Local coaches and former top jumpers, triple jumper Brian Wellman and high jumper Rohaan Simons, will conduct sessions on Thursday afternoon and Friday.
Smith has won the Athlete of the Year the last three years while King won it in 2005. Wellman was also a multiple winner of the award, five times during his jumping career.
“What Arantxa and Tyrone are looking at is giving the children some technique work on how to jump and also they will be talking to them about how they got to where they are, that it is not an impossible dream to get to the Olympics,” explained Watson.
“There will be some talking and some technical work. I know Brian and Rohaan will do the same thing with triple jump and high jump.
“When we talked about the camp in Moscow, I said to them ‘Bermuda really doesn't know the two of you'.
“If you look at Tyler (triathlete Tyler Butterfield), everybody knows Tyler, he's competed here, lived here and his parents are here, but with Arantxa, people might know her because of (mother) Branwen or Adrian (father Adrian King) but they don't know Arantxa.
“And when Tyrone comes in for the Athlete of the Year awards he comes in for a day and leaves the next day, so nobody really gets to meet him.
“The objective is to get the two of them to give back, they have received a lot from Bermuda, both have been to two Olympics and two World Championships, and so it would be nice for them to give back. That's the gist of the camp.”
Added Watson: “Their season has wound down and track for them won't start until the indoor season in December, January.
“Our expectation is not that we will have 100 children up there wanting to become long jumpers. We want it to be worthwhile, we're not looking at quantity, we're looking at quality.”