The last leg of the country-wide Sports Performance Camps kicked off in Providenciales on Thursday, with close to a hundred children taking part.
The camp, the first of its kind in the Turks and Caicos Islands, is geared to test and improve athletes’ speed, agility, endurance and to ultimately prepare them to become meaningful competitors on the international stage.
Day one of the camp dealt with, among other things, speed, jumps and change direction. On day two, participants will undergo more intense training, which includes the use of training and sporting equipment.
Jarett Forbes, Director for the Sports Commission, the entity spearheading the camps, disclosed to NewslineTCI that the goal is to insert the programme into the schools’ curriculum, pointing out that the ultimate goal is to create a culture of sports performance within the Turks and Caicos Islands, that would create internationally competitive athletes.
“The plan is to introduce these strategies throughout our curriculums across the sporting disciplines,” he said.
Forbes noted that similar events will be held in a few months, to ensure that the athletes remain on par.
He said the Sports Commission would be meeting with the Education Department to get that entity to buy into the programme in a bid to make the Physical Education Teachers available for training under the system.
“We have started a discussion at that level, and once we got the commitment, we will start to implement it in the PE Programmes,” Forbes noted.
Forbes revealed that individuals from across the islands are currently working with the camps, from which he believes they would garner much experience. He said the Sports Commission would make the programme a certified one for teachers and coaches.
“We are actually going to go through actual training certification programme as well,” he said. “This is just the introductory.”
The camp began in North Caicos, then moved to South Caicos, before skipping on to Grand Turk before climaxing on Providenciales.
Omarii Lightbourne and Kai Swann are two of the participants from the Grand Turk Camp, who decided to carry on with the Provo camp. For them, the series of camps is God-sent.
My experience in Grand Turk was great,” Lightbourne said. “We learned how to better our foundation and mechanics. For me personally, I learn how to be focused and driven, and learn how to carry out myself and be the best athlete I can be.”
Commenting on the Provo camp, Lightbourne said: “I find the Provo camp very challenging because it is more children to deal with than we had in Grand Turk.”
For his part, Swann said the camp took him from almost nothing physically, to a point where he feels much can be accomplished in sport.
“In Grand Turk, on the first day, everything was new to me. But as it went on everything just became natural to me. And coming to Provo, it was the same thing. I was a bit rusty in one or two areas, but overall, it was natural,” he said.
Swann revealed that at the end of the day he would like to gain a sports scholarship. He said at this point he is torn between a career in basketball and American Football.