Pole vaulting, the Olympic event which has been immortalized by the likes of Russia’s Sergey Bubka and decathlete Daley Thompson of Britain, could soon be on show during local competitions at the National Stadium.
Yesterday ended three days of training – for selected coaches and athletes – in the discipline of pole vaulting by Venezuelan Jairo Escalona, who has been living and coaching pole vaulting in Puerto Rico for the past 16 years.
One of Escalona’s protégés, Joel Castro, was part of the three-day session staged by the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA).
According to long-serving president of the AAA, Esther Maynard, the association saw the need to boost the training of the coaches and introduce selected athletes to the skills of pole vaulting since Barbados took part in decathlete and heptathlete events but could go no further since the decathlete competitions involved pole vaulting as one of the disciplines.
Maynard said that while the AAA funded the seminar the coach was sourced and provided by the Regional Development Centre in Puerto Rico.
The coaches involved were Julia Lewis, Neil Crichlow, Adrian Thorne of Harrison College, Elroy Agard of St James Secondary and Ramon Armstrong of Coleridge & Parry.
CARIFTA heptathlete bronze medalist Klode Thompson of St Leonard’s, Janeil Craigg, Rhys Phillips, Shamar Rock and Daley Carter were the athletes who took part in the training.
Also on hand was Dr June Caddle, who said all Level 1 coaches in Barbados would have been exposed to some degree of training in pole vaulting.
“Pole vaulting in Barbados has not become popular because of the inherent difficulties and dangers and it is a discipline that demands mostly one-on-one coaching,” she said. (KB)