|Track meet pushed back|
Guardian Columnist/Sales Executive
Published: May 19, 2012
Young and up-and-coming track stars will have to wait another two weeks to showcase their talents now that the first annual Kids Athletic track and field classic has been postponed.
Due to the conflict in schedule, meet organizer Jason Cartwright has pushed the classic back until June 2. The meet is designed specifically for younger track and field athletes, between the ages of 5 and 13. The Saints Athletics Club was playing host to the event. About nine clubs have signed up to compete in the meet.
“Special Olympics is hosting an event this weekend and they would be using the track so we bowed out and pushed our event back to June 2,” said Cartwright. “I am a bit disappointed because it was poor communications between the two organizations. The date was already booked and it is Kids Athletic month worldwide and in the eyes of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations). We really wanted to have the meet during this time and especially this month, but we have to push it back.”
The Saints Athletics Club has an open door policy. The organization caters to the younger athletes, between the ages of 5 and 13. It has been open now for three years.
Cartwright added: “We are trying to attract more kids from the urban area, get them involved in track and field. We saw that there were a lot of private schools whose athletes were being named to national teams, but when you looked at the GSSSA and the primary school championships, not a lot of those athletes were making qualifying times.
“They didn’t have the basic training to compete on the national level or compete with the other kids in the other clubs. So what we did was form the club because some urban kids could not afford to be in the other track clubs. We made it easier for them to get uniforms, tennis and sprints. But the most important thing was training. And now they are able to compete and look like the other kids from the private sector.”
There are 29 active members in the Saints Athletic Club. These athletes come from communities like Bain and Grants Town, East Street, South Beach and Chippingham. Cartwright said the club had about 42 members, but has seen a decline because of the many constraints.
“I am very proud of where we have come from to where we are now as an organization,” noted Cartwright. “We could not have done it without the help of BAAA's President Mike Sands, Ann and Linda Thompson along with many others.”