Danielle Dowie, Jamaica's 400m hurdler, has returned to Jamaica to train it MVP Track Club. Dowie, in a story on her blog, explained "why MVP and why now"?. Dowie's full blog post is below:
So I notice, after talking to several of my new teammates, that they all seem to want to know one thing – why I came to MVP? It’s funny actually, they draw me in by being nice and telling me stories of how training is, while waiting for the perfect moment to ask me why I came here. I’ve had several responses; each one dependent on my mood and the person who’s asking. I figured it’s a reasonable question, since MVP has always been there and I’ve always had access to it, so why now?
Well, it’s a long story. It kinda always is, but it’s only fair I start by talking about when I got introduced to the UTECH/MVP camp. I believe I was in ninth grade at Titchfield High School in Portland at the time. I was competing at the CARIFTA Trials at Stadium East in Kingston when I met Paul Francis. It could have been earlier, but that time stood out because I caught some attention with my performance in the prelims, as well as some serious stress-driven discomfort. Paul became a familiar face and I soon developed a relationship with club affiliates.
Upon transferring from Titchfield to the Wolmer’s Girls’ School, I soon learned that MVP was a so-called “Wolmer’s camp”. Both Paul and Stephen Francis went to Wolmer’s Boys, as well as club president Bruce James, plus Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was there too. Within my first year at Wolmer’s, I made my first national team in 2008 and I made a national team every year after that except for these past two years – the 2013 Moscow World Championships, being the last national team I made, and since then I’ve had a few injuries.
Anyway back to the story, by the time I was in fifth form I was being heavily recruited by U.S colleges. I low key hated school and I didn’t want to go to sixth form. Don’t go thinking I hated school because I was bad at it, because I’ve had my share of blue reports from both Titchfield and Wolmer’s Girls School. Plus Mrs. Montague (Wolmer's Girls' Principal) took one look at my report and agreed I did not need to repeat a grade to get into Wolmer’s – that would have been a deal breaker. I loved my teachers and I had my favorite subjects; I just hated a part of the school process like homework, and having to wake up super early to beat the toll-road traffic coming from Portmore.
When I went to Wolmer’s, I ended up making a lot of decisions by myself. It got so intense that if my mum didn’t eventually have to sign my scholarship papers, because I was under 21 years, I would have just lightly mentioned what school I was going to and my departure date. I was frustrated, unhappy, and my family life was stressing me out. I remember one day I sat at school in my uniform and cried on the steps by the auditorium. It was one of the rare times I could ever remember missing practice. I was moving in and out of homes and constantly running into some type of problem. It felt like everyone had something to say about me, and mostly when I wasn’t around.
Eventually, I decided that I was going to study abroad and then return to Jamaica to MVP. My high school coach was busy trying to get me to stay until upper sixth form, but I had already made up my mind. I just didn’t want to be around anymore, and the further away I was the better. Even though I knew the coaches at UTECH were interested in me, I honestly just wanted to leave Jamaica. I had so much stuff going on and too many people I trusted were pussyfooting around with me. So I just decided leaving was the best option for me. I was young and going to America was the in-thing. In hindsight, maybe if I was comfortable enough to be upfront about my personal issues things would have been different.
When graduation came in 2014, I wasn’t feeling like coming back home. The problem, however, was I wanted to do well in track. I figured I had made a good move post-Texas but that turned out to be not the place for me. After this year, I ended up having to really sit down and put things into perspective. I had to make some big girl decisions for Danielle’s best interest. It basically came down to staying in America versus having a successful track career? It was easy once I put it like that. I know I want to be successful more than anything and I don’t want to waste anymore time with people who think they can get me there, when I know there is a place that can actually get me there. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that MVP is probably the best place to be if you’re in Jamaica and looking for outstanding results. When it comes to consistency and medals, MVP carries the banner.