KINGSTON, Jamaica – Olympians Maurice Smith and Brandon Simpson have joined forces to create the MultiFly Track and Field Club with the aim to develop decathletes and heptathletes in Jamaica, starting at the junior level.
“Well the vision is to help develop multis in Jamaica. Since I stopped competing in the decathlon, there hasn’t been anyone since. So, we saw the need for a multi-track club because we see that they have the multis at Champs, but after Champs, we don’t see anything else. So, what we are trying to do is develop multis in Jamaica,” said World Championship silver medalist Smith, the national record holder in the event and Jamaica's most successful decathlete.
“So I think right now, if we could get a few junior athletes at the Carifta Games and World Juniors then we could help them transition to the professional level. But I think right now, you know, the juniors will be more the focus,” Wilson told OBSERVER ONLINE at the ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Friday.
The decathlon is an athletic event taking place over two days, in which each competitor takes part in the same prescribed 10 events. The events include the 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1,500m.
Meanwhile, the heptathlon is a composite contest for female athletes that consists of seven events, including the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, and 800m. It is also contested over two days.
Simpson, who is a 400m specialist and has won bronze in the 4x400m relay at three World Championships, said the club aims is to change the culture of the muti-events in Jamaica.
“Well, we hope to change the culture of the heptathlon and decathlon. I think right now it requires that we go out and educate and talk about what the possibilities are for athletes and where they can go. Using his [Maurice Smith] career as an example to show them that it is actually a very big event around the world. It’s not loved here in this country, but we plan to change that,” Simpson said, noting that MultiFly will be based in Kingston with camps being held outside the parish.
As such, the pole vault will be one of the main focus due to its technicality.
“We plan to focus on the pole vault quite a bit. We know that there's a lot of equipment that's necessary and expertise that's necessary and we're willing to find all of those solutions so that we can get athletes where they need to be. So, we understand that to compete at an international level, you have to have all of those events and that's the primary issue for the decathlon in our country,” Simpson said.
In addition, high school athletes will also benefit from this programme.
“I mean, I think where MultiFly is concerned, we want to kind of stay away from the whole rivalry. I don't just want to be restricted to one school. And like I said, you see that Champs and then after Champs you don't see it. So obviously there's not a place for the multi people to go and train and focus specifically on the multi. I mean, I would love to still help out my alma maters as well, and like you said we want to educate schools on how to develop programmes,” said Smith, a former Calabar High star.
The launch of MultiFly Track and Field is scheduled to take place sometime in the summer, the Olympians said.
The MultiFly Track and Field Club are currently seeking athletes, who are interested in developing their skills in the multi-events. In addition, anyone that is interested in helping the future of Jamaican track and field and would like to support the cause can contact (876) 826-8747, (876) 579-3127, (876) 321-5210 or via email at email@example.com
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