Click here to print page

Buff Bay athletics coach laments lack of resources

Senior staff reporter

Monday, February 17, 2020

HEAD coach at Buff Bay High Kevin Brown is convinced that access to greater resources for his school would lead to improved showing at various track and field championships.

Speaking against the widely held view that a lot of rural schools are not as well funded as some in the Corporate Area, Brown said that the Portland-based institution could produce more top athletes if even a fraction of what is needed is attained.

“The season has been going good thus far for us. We [however,] have been having a bit of challenge, one of which is the constant rainfall — but it has eased now so we are trying to get some real work in. The progress has been good with the athletes and the attitude has not been bad. So, I'm hoping that this season Buff Bay High students will go out and showcase the talents that they possess,” said Brown, who is also the school's acting vice-principal.

“As it relates to our challenges here at Buff Bay High School where track and field is concerned, we don't have a proper running surface and I believe that that has been hampering our operation as it relates to the track events. Hence, we have been doing much better in the field because of what we possess,” he added.

Buff Bay, the runner-up in last year's eastern championships, has been known to produce some top athletes in field events such as the likes of Romaine Beckford, who struck double gold in the class two boys' high jump and discus at the 2018 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' & Girls' Athletics Championships.

“High jump is one of our better events. I think where coaching is concerned I have found the remedy, and hence I am taking students to as high as 2.14 metres — that in Horatio Humphrey and Romaine Beckford. Now we have a Raymond Richards who has been doing very well. His personal best is 1.3 metres and since the start of this season he has done 2.10 metres so, hoping to get him much better going into champs,” the coach mentioned, noting at the same time that an improvement in high jump equipment would go a long way in aiding his efforts.

“We really don't have much. Basically, we have two sponge that we call a bed with a covering, and the upright just not functioning properly. But nonetheless, we make do with what we have and we do the best for our students,” Brown told the Jamaica Observer North & East during a stop at the school last Thursday.

Turning to long jump, the coach lamented the challenges with the pit, sharing that the low-quality sand being used at times harden, requiring labour from already-fatigued athletes in the form of “digging” to ensure that athletes aren't injured.

“Our running surface? It's just not good. You have a lot of holes, hills — you can call it valleys too — but, as I said, here at Buff Bay High we really make do with what we possess. We have been doing well in the throws over the years and that has been going very well. We have a Sandrea McPherson who has been doing very well; hopefully, she will improve for the rest of the season.

“We are trying to push, exposing the students in the east and to showcase the talent so that they can move on later on and, of course, make do where track and field is concerned. We have three eastern championships titles and where pushing to the limit is concerned, we have a Romaine Beckford who is now overseas studying. He did well for us in both the discus and high jump. Horatio Humphrey is now at G C Foster College. He did very very well for us last season, was actually second for us in the high jump at Champs class one — personal best of 1.40 metres and also got silver at the CARIFTA games last season.

“Getting the things that are necessary for track and field I believe that the studentathletes would do way better because, based on what we have now, what we possess, some of these things, we put them together. We improvise to get the best out of our students, so having the proper equipment would mean a lot to us, because I know that would help us to get the best out of students. That would move this programme and, of course show Jamaica that in the east we have persons who understand what they are doing and can get these students to the next level,” Brown stated.