David Riley and Julian Robinson: The Impact of the Lockdown on Track and Field

David Riley and Julian Robinson

David Riley is an Athletics Coach and the President of the Jamaica Track And Field Coaches Association (JTFCA).  David is currently the Track and Field Coach and Technical Director of Track and Field at the Excelsior Education Centre (EXED) and has served as the National Coach for Jamaica for several international competitions including as the Head Coach for the Jamaican delegation at the 2017 World University Games. The veteran long jump and triple jump specialist has led the Wolmer’s Boys to a historic win in the 2010 Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.  

Julian Robinson is a Throwing Coach who has been credited with Jamaica’s recent success in throwing events regionally and internationally. For more than a decade, he has coached several athletes at the Calabar High school who have transitioned into professional athletes including World Athletics Silver Medallist Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle and Chad Wright. In 2018, Julian was recognised by the North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NACAC) as the Track and Field Association Coach of the Year.

In this episode, David and Julian discuss the impact of the shutdown of and postponement of track and field events because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also discuss:

  1. The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics
  2. The impact of the shutdown of training facilities on athletes’ fitness and preparation for competing
  3. The opportunities presented for athletes with the postponement and cancellation of major track and field events
  4. Challenges in monitoring athletes while following physical distancing guidelines
  5. The financial impact of the shutdown of and postponement of track and field events
  6. The disparity in resources available to athletes in other countries and Jamaicans
  7. How the inability to train will impact the fitness of athletes and the potential consequences of that happening
  8. Counselling junior athletes amidst the cancellation of events such as the Boys and Girls’ Championships and CARIFTA Games

They also spoke about the impact that the cancellation of events on the future of junior athletes and the importance of discussing the changes with them.

Other topics discussed are:

  1. Keeping student-athletes engaged during the pandemic
  2. Adjustment of their training programmes
  3. The possibility of a National Senior Championships being held this August
  4. Preparation for the major championships from 2021 to 2025
  5. Athletes choosing to compete between the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the World Athletics Championships
  6. Advice for young coaches
  7. Planning for viral illnesses

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