The Rising Stars Athletic Club is celebrating 10 years of existence and on a mission to produce multiple Olympic medals for Barbados.
Head Coach Alwyn Babb, one of the island’s most succesfull coaches, said coaches and athletes at the St. Thomas club, based at the Lester Vaughn School, were serious and focussed on their objectives.
“When we started, we wanted to bring a different approach to training and preparation for regional and international competition. We address the physical and the mental and we have been fairly successful, but I think the best years are yet to come,” he said.
The Club has a strong history of producing world-class hurdlers, with 2009 World Champion Ryan Brathwaite, Commonwealth Games youth record holder Kierre Beckles and Commonwealth gold medalist Rivaldo Leacock among the best known. Babb disclosed that the club trains athletes in several other specialist areas of athletics.
These days, the young athletes of Rising Stars seem more inspired after a gift of cutting-edge equipment from Sagicor General Insurance which is already being put to use in pre-season training.
Through the brokering of Corey Worrell and the C2J Foundation, Sagicor General’s Assistant vice-president of Marketing, Roger Spencer last week officially handed over 20 hurdles, as well as a number of form-finders and starting blocks to the Club.
“Mr. Worrell is a former teacher of the Lester Vaughn school and when he approached us we readily agreed to support the young athletes. Sagicor has a proud record of supporting the community in Barbados and the Caribbean and we will continue for as long as we are able to do so,” said Spencer.
The equipment will be used by both members of Rising Stars and students of Lester Vaughn. Coach Babb and school principal Captain Michael Boyce, thanked Sagicor General for donating the equipment and assured that it would be put to good use.
Worrell, a former Maths teacher, said the C2J Foundation was a project-based non-governmental organization focussed on social development and they had embraced Rising Stars in seeking to assist young athletes in personal and skill development.
The project, he said, comprises three phases and along with skill development also include Personal & Leadership Development and Training Facility Development .
Rising Stars , with around 90 members, now boast of being the only club on the island that own form-finders which are an advanced system that enables hurdlers to keep the desired shape – in relation to hands and trail-leg – for consistent race execution.
The training hurdles are also the most modern around and are manufactured with balance that allows them to return to an upright position, after being knocked by athletes.
At this time, Babb said athletes were focusing on specialised training over the next four to six weeks before switching to preparation for competition.