In a tradition spanning nine years, the MVP Track & Field Club is once again making a significant impact on Jamaica's budding athletic talents through its Island-wide Grassroots Athletics Training Camps. The club has extended invitations to secondary schools across the nation, urging them to nominate student-athletes aged 12 to 18 for participation in one of the three Advanced Level Training Camps. These camps are set to take place in each of Jamaica's counties throughout the month of November.

MVP President, Bruce James, expressed his delight at the overwhelming response, saying, "Over 100 schools, from all 14 Parishes in Jamaica have been invited, and we have almost exceeded the targeted number of participants."

Head Coach of the MVP Track & Field Club, Paul Francis, emphasized the importance of sharing their knowledge and training methods following their exceptional results in Budapest at the 2023 World Athletics Championships. He recalled, "A highlight in Budapest was when a participant in our 2016 MVP Grassroots Training Camps won Gold in the 400m. This athlete is Antonio Watson."

The journey of nurturing young talent begins with the Cornwall Advanced Level Training Camp, scheduled for Saturday, November 11th at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St. James. The Middlesex Advanced Level Training Camp will follow on Saturday, November 18th, to be hosted at the GC Foster College in St. Catherine. The third and final Advanced Level Training Camp, dedicated to Surrey, will be conducted within the National Stadium, Kingston, on Saturday, November 25th, 2023.

These training camps will be supervised by a team of distinguished Jamaican coaches, led by MVP Head Coach Paul Francis, all of whom boast extensive international experience. The young athletes, numbering over 120 per training camp, will be guided through six track and field disciplines, including Hurdling, Sprinting, Throwing, Jumping, Distance Running, and Relays. It's worth noting that MVP Track & Field Club athletes frequently make appearances at these camps to interact with the aspiring young talents.

The training experience is further enriched as PUMA, one of the world's largest sports apparel companies, provides the athletes with top-quality gear. WATA and Powerade ensure that the young athletes remain well-hydrated, while NCB and the NCB Foundation offer financial literacy solutions. Best Dressed Chicken lends support for the nutritional needs of the student athletes, and the Sports Development Foundation continues its dedication to high-quality development programs throughout Jamaica. Digicel serves as the telecommunications partner for these camps.

The all-day training camps commence at 8:30 am and are strictly by invitation only, emphasizing the importance of fostering the future stars of Jamaican athletics.




As it celebrates National Coaches Day on Friday, October 6, the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association (JTFCA) has announced that it will honour several members of its coaching fraternity for long and distinguished service on November 11, 2023.

The awards will be in four categories: Silver (20-25 years), Gold (26-30 years), Platinum (30-40 years) and Lifetime Award (Over 40 years).

Among the coaches to be honoured are Fitzroy Ball, Paul Francis, Richard Thomas and H. Michael Vassell who are set to receive Platinum Awards, Michael Dyke, Dwayne Jarrett, Kevin Pryce and Hermon Reid who will be bestowed with Gold Awards.

The recipients of the Silver Awards are Lawson Brown, Keilando Goburn, Christopher Mitchell, David Riley, Garth Smythe and Lecia Walters.

Iconic track and field coach Stephen Francis will also be presented with the Hector-Smith Master Coach Award named after the late Edward Hector and Eldemire Smith who both served as executive members of the Coaches Association. Francis, Michael Clarke, Patrick Johnson and Errol Messias will also receive Lifetime Awards.

The Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association is internationally recognized body for Jamaica’s track and field coaches at the Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Club and Elite levels. The association is an affiliate of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) and is endorsed by World Athletics.

It is also the representative body for all Track and Field coaches in Jamaica.

October 6 is recognized as National Coaches Day across many federations in North America and the Caribbean region and is a day when the work of coaches across all sports are recognized. It is also a day when issues and challenges facing the profession are brought into sharp focus.

Outsider Essential Quality burst the bubbles of her more favoured rivals, as she turned the third running of the Winston “Fanna” Griffiths Classic into a procession at Caymanas Park on Saturday.

Another levelheaded ride by jockey Raddesh Roman saw the Oral Hayden-owned and trained chestnut filly, proving the class of the three-year-old Graded Stakes contest in a gate-to-wire performance over 9-1/2 furlongs (1,900m) at long odds of 30-1.

With not much pace present in the race, the indication was that Fitzroy Glispie’s overwhelming 4-5 favourite Money Miser (Shamaree Muir) or stablemate Princess Sharon (Paul Francis) would have dictated terms on the headline, but the connections of Essential Quality had other ideas.

From the one draw in the nine-horse field, the Sensational Slam-Texas Missy progeny, was sent straight to the lead by Roman, with Princess Sharon and Burlap (Javaniel Patterson) in tow, as the flashed past the clubhouse turn and hit the backstretch.

At that point Money Miser, though more than five lengths behind, seemed fairly comfortable and poised to make a late strike when the leaders falter.

But that was not to be as Roman and Essential Quality quickened past the five-furlong mark and later opened up a gap on Burlap, who tried but failed to apply pressure on the leader leaving the half-mile.

From there, it was Essential Quality against the clock as the filly barely look winded when she straightened in the homestretch and even found when asked by Roman, who later eased up and stood tall in the saddle for the rest of the way.

She completed the distance in 2:03.0, after splits of 25.1, 49.4, 1:14.2 and 1:40.1.

Princess Sharon stayed on for second nine lengths behind, while Richie Rich (Reyan Lewis) and Money Miser (Shamaree Muir), both inevitably hit top stride but were a long way off the winner in third and fourth respectively.

The Ham Stables-bred Essential Quality in landing the lion’s share of the $3.75 million purse, registered her third career win in eight starts.

Meanwhile, trainer Peter-John Parsard and jockeys Tevin Foster, Phillip Parchment, and Reyan Lewis each had two winners on the 10-race card.

Parsard saddled Sunshine Cat (Oneil Mullings) in the seventh race and Rojorn Di Pilot (Omar Walker) in the 10th event.

Foster’s winners were the Michael Marlowe-conditioned Jack of Spades in the second race and Anthony Nunes’s Captain Calico in the fifth. Parchment won aboard Steven Todd’s Magical Mood in the third race and Traditional Boy for trainer Gordon Lewis in the sixth.

Lewis won the fourth race aboard Sensational Satin for trainer Byron Davis, and the eighth with Jason DaCosta’s Lion of Ekati.

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, Olympic and World Championships 400m bronze medalist and former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell have been named to a Jamaican selection that has named to participate in the World Relays set for May 1-2 in Chorzow, Poland.

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