By Simone Proietti, Special to

A kingdom that has been going on for some time that the Jamaican athletics, dragged from the star Usain Bolt, admiral of a crew from the Caribbean island that has conquered the seas of the world speed. Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Yohan Blake, Veronica Campbell-Brown are just some of the protagonists of a nation to the sound of records and medals, many of which the most precious metal, have given luster to a movement ever so successful as in recent years.

From the 2008 Beijing Games, the explosion of those Lightning Bolt, the factory speed seems to have found the right balance to impose a profit on the first power antagonist in the field, the U.S. track and field. Today the United States are struggling to find the winning lane, defeated several times by the little universe of the sprint, which for a while now 'decided to grow in their own home phenomena, managing to reverse a trend that saw emigrate in U.S. universities in the best youth individuality. A natural consequence of the explosion of Bolt, who arrived on the throne of world precisely because of his decision to remain in his homeland, training structures and classmates who have seen him grow.   

Supremacy, that of Jamaica, which did not come from nothing, but that has its origin already at youth level, with a vibrant grassroots movement to broader participation. In this regard its part tomorrow 25 March, the umpteenth edition of ISSA, better known as "Champs", ie the student championships Jamaicans, even born in 1910 and grew throughout the century thanks to the exploits of young college students, many which then launched into the international spotlight. 

Arthur Wint to Herb McKenley, to continue with Lennox Miller and Don Quarrie, the Champs were the first gym racing for many number one. Among these was the panther Merlene Ottey, one of the most iconic names Jamaican athletics, a long and successful career, celebrated with a monumental statue at the entrance of the stadium in Kingston, plant fully packed throughout the event. A basin filled by 35,000 people, including the boisterous cheering and applause of the kids turned to great champions invited into the stands. Usain Bolt never fails, and with him all his countrymen strongest points of reference for many of those guys on the track committed to bringing up the name of their school. 

Becoming a champion of athletics in Jamaica often means out of a situation of concrete poverty, ensuring the whole family privileges and goods otherwise unavailable. But the competition is really fierce, really there to win you have to run fast, you have to really pull out grit and performance. Suffice it to say that the record for the 100 meters is held by a young Yohan Blake, 17 years old and still able to fly in 10.21. This is just one example of the great benefits to which you can attend during one of these meetings. The organization of the Champs is set on three age groups for boys (under 14 – under 16 – under 19) and four bands for girls (under 13 – under 15 – under 17 – under 19), with races on four days to decide the winning schools.   

Last year was an issue with all the trimmings, among the most spectacular in the history of the event, with as many as 30 championship record. Among boys, the best were those of Calabar, while the women came again a success for the Holmwood Technical High School, whose domain in recent years has become almost embarrassing. Some of the impressive results, including three boys under 16 under 47 seconds in the 400, or the firm of Nathaniel Bann, under 14 able to close the lap in 49.13. This year of course will still be a big show event felt more sports Jamaican, an appointment of those living in person to savor the sensations and emotions of a festival unique in the world. 

Simone Proietti is a Italian journalist/photographer. He writes a blog, which can be viewed at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here