Wolmer's Boys joins forces with MVP Track Club

By Sports Desk January 08, 2021

Wolmer’s Boys School will join forces with top locally based track club MVP in a bid to turn around its high school track and field program.

The 14-time Boys Championships winner last claimed the title in 2010, on the 100th year anniversary of the competition.  Though being typically there or thereabout, the school has not been able to consistently compete for the Mortimer Geddes trophy.

The shakeup will see the school part ways with noted high school track and field coach Danny Hawthorne, who took over the job in 2016.  The annual track and field event was cancelled last year, due to the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, but the team has finished outside of the top five for the previous three years claiming 6th place positions in 2017, 2018, and 2019 editions.  MVP club president Bruce James, a former student at the institution, confirmed the existence of the new arrangements.

“The headmaster of Wolmer’s Mr. Pennycoke has invited the MVP track club to play a positive role in the redevelopment of the Wolmer’s Boys track team, this takes effect on the first of January 2021,” James told Television Jamaica.

“The Wolmer’s Boys school happens to be where the MVP track and field club was founded and the MVP club’s management consists of Wolmer’s old boys such as Stephen Francis, Paul Francis, Andre Edwards, so we are happy to help the Wolmer’s Boys track and field team and the program he is building,” he added.  

 

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  • Stephen Francis criticizes JAAA for men’s 4x400m relay qualification failure; offers suggestion to possibly beat June 30 deadline Stephen Francis criticizes JAAA for men’s 4x400m relay qualification failure; offers suggestion to possibly beat June 30 deadline

    Renowned athletics coach Stephen Francis has publicly criticized the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) for what he described as gross incompetence, which has placed the country on the cusp of failing to qualify for the men’s 4x400m relay at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games.

    Francis, known for his no-nonsense approach, did not mince words as he laid bare his frustrations with the governing body’s handling of the situation, as the country’s recent bid to make it into the top 16 in the world, again ended in disappointment.

    The team of Reheem Hayles, JeVaughn Powell, Kimar Farquharson and Tarees Rhoden, gallantly clocked 2:59.75 against a Barbados team, and an international quartet at the NACAC New Life Invitational in Bahamas on Sunday, but failed to run faster than the 2:59.12 seconds set by Zambia in March.

    That was Jamaica’s third attempt at qualification, following two failures at the World Athletics Relays, also held in the Bahamas, in May. Fourteen teams qualified from the World Relays with the next best two teams, based on times run during the qualifying window, being added.

    France (2:58.46) and Zambia, currently occupy those slots, with Jamaica now in a race against time to surpass one of the two before the close of the qualification window on June 30.

    Should the Jamaicans fail to do so, it would be the first time in decades that the country would be absent from the men’s 4x400m at any major championship.

    Francis believes all this could have been avoided had JAAA’s president Garth Gayle appointed competent individuals with immense knowledge of how to manage the situation accordingly.

    “Garth Gayle is a trying man, but he consistently gets letdown by the appointments he makes. Jamaica historically has treated senior athletics as an adjunct to junior athletics, so the same people are there, school principals and their technical committees, making these decisions on issues they know absolutely nothing about,” Francis told SportsMax.TV in an exclusive interview.

    “They know nothing about senior athletics. They might have some kind of resume in (managing) juniors, being a high school principal or a coach at a high school, so (the country suffers) as a result of these personnel, because they keep making stupid decisions when it comes to seniors,” he added.

    To drive home his point, Francis, a highly decorated coach, explained that the country’s teams to the World Athletics Relays were chosen based on early season times.

    “That is rubbish…unheard of, and only people who know nothing about senior athletics would ever even suggest that. (Those with proper knowledge) know that in April, nobody starts to run because people are more peaking for the summer, so what they should have done for the World relays is to run the teams you expect to run down in June. You make them aware early enough that, ‘we're going to select so try and get in shape because we need to qualify, we need to get to the final,” Francis reasoned.