Bailey hopes to produce well-rounded athletes with new Tigers Track Club in Antigua

By September 14, 2023
Daniel Bailey (centre) with members of the Tigers Track Club (from left) Mia McIntosh, Osei Gardner, De'Jean Edwards, Romario McDowell, Daniel Bailey Jr and Adrian Andrew Hazel. Daniel Bailey (centre) with members of the Tigers Track Club (from left) Mia McIntosh, Osei Gardner, De'Jean Edwards, Romario McDowell, Daniel Bailey Jr and Adrian Andrew Hazel.

Former sprinter Daniel Bailey could very well be Antigua & Barbuda’s greatest when it comes to the sport of Track & Field.

The 37-year-old currently holds the country’s national record in the 100m with 9.91 done all the way back in 2009. That year also saw Bailey have his best finish at a major outdoor championship, finishing fourth in the 100m final at the Berlin World Championships, the same race which saw Usain Bolt set the current world record 9.58.

A year later, Bailey took bronze in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships in Doha with 6.57. He also holds the Antiguan national record in this event with 6.54 done in 2009.

Today, Bailey is looking to give back to the next generation of Track & Field stars through the formation of his new Tigers Track Club in his home country.

Bailey explained that after his retirement from the sport in 2021, he needed to find a way to stay close to it because of the love he still had for it and this club is his way of doing that.

“That was one of my goals after retirement, knowing the love that I have for the sport. I just passed 20 years being a professional. Even after I retired, I felt the love still so the only way I felt I could stay close to the sport is through either becoming an agent or coach,” Bailey told Sportsmax.TV.

Bailey spent his professional career training in Jamaica under the tutelage of legendary coach, Glen Mills, at the Racers Track Club. He says Mills, as well as his former high school coach, Carl Casey, were two of the people he reached out to about starting his own club back home.

“I made the decision to call my former high school coach and told him I want to start a track club and asked him what he thought. He said it’s a great idea and opportunity for me. I also called coach Mills and told him this is what I’m going to do. He’s the one that’s been teaching me a lot when it comes to Track & Field, not just on the track but off the track as well,” he said.

“I finally said to myself let me just open a track club and see what the future holds. I’m confident that I’ll do well. I’m not going to guarantee that I’ll produce world beaters and world champions but that is my goal. I want to be different,” he added.

Bailey said he got the inspiration to start a track club when he started coaching a young athlete two years ago.

“Two years ago, I started training an athlete, River Robinson. I met him and we started training and sometimes I would call coach just to clarify certain things and then after a while, COVID hit and we could not do certain things or go certain places. We actually came back in to Antigua for a little bit. He was in school and had everything on point academically but he needed performance to get into a good school because the times that he was running could not get him anywhere so I said I’m going to start doing some work with him,” Bailey said.

“After all this, we started training during COVID and we spent most of the time training on the grass with no gym work or no offseason work. After a little bit, I realized they started to lift the COVID restrictions so we could travel. There were a couple of meets in Jacksonville and after three months of training, we wanted to see where he ranged up. We did that and got him ready. Before that, his fastest time was 11.44 and that can’t get you anywhere but when I saw him run, I saw the talent. With the three months work of me getting him stronger and more technically correct, we went to Jacksonville to compete in three meets. He missed the first one and ran 10.5 in the second one, a big personal best. That’s when schools started to call him. After that I said to myself, ‘I think I can do this.' I think there’s just an art around it and anything I don’t understand I can just ask questions. I always have a guide where coach Mills is concerned,” Bailey added.

The former sprinter then went more in depth about his relationship with his former coach, discussing the things he learned from Mills that he would like to implement at his own club.

“I trained with coach Mills for 15-16 years. I left from Antigua at a young age to join the club but when I got to Jamaica, I realized the difference with what I was doing here in Antigua. The whole gym regimen and training was different. What got my attention was when I got back to Antigua after so many years in Jamaica, that a lot of the young athletes here are doing the stuff that I used to do when I was a little kid. We can get better for these athletes. They have the talent but there’s a lack of pedigree,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, we do have young athletes going through the system but I know they can run a lot faster so my aim is to try to transfer what I’ve learnt in Jamaica to my athletes. Not just what I’ve learnt on the track but off the track as well. I want them to be well rounded,” he added.

While he recognizes that his club is in the grassroots stage, Bailey believes that, in the future, Tigers Track Club will be able to attract talent from all over the world. In fact, he says some athletes from across the globe have already started reaching out to him.

“I also want to invite athletes from overseas to join my club. I’m already getting athletes that live overseas calling me to join the club but I’m not at that stage as yet,” he said.

“Right now, I’m just focusing on local athletes. I have nine athletes right now that I’m getting ready for CARIFTA next year and whatever branches off from that, we’ll take and move forward,” Bailey added.


Bradley Jacks

Bradley Jacks is a budding journalist and an avid sports fan. His love of research and sports has led him to, a place where those passions work hand in hand to allow him to produce content.

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