By Anthony Foster, writer

Antigua and Barbuda’s Inter-Schools Championships 200m/400m double champion Jared Donaldson wants to see a better execution for track and field development in his country.

Donaldson called for “better organization and more preparation for these kind of events” like Inter-Schools Champs.

The 18-year-old Antigua Grammar School student/athlete won the 200m in 22.08 and 400m in 49.79.

The times, according to him are mediocre, which is why he calls on the Ministry of Sports and the Athletics federation to help “recruit athletes much earlier and get them into the sport and I think that would help a lot.”

The full interview with Donaldson talking to’s Anthony Foster is below:

Question: You won the 200m and 400m, false started in the 100m, talk to us about your performances?
Answer: “I very happy about it, because I was unable to train for most of the season, so I came here pretty much as a unknown, because I didn’t know how I would do. After the 200m, I was a bit more confident, the 100m things didn’t go as well as I thought they would, and I took out revenge on the 400m."

Q: You mentioned you didn’t work as hard as you would want to, the same disclosed by many others, what’s the reason why Antigua youngsters don’t train hard?
A: “Well, let me use Jamaica as a reference where they (athletes) would train with their schools and the schools ensure they do well together, we only train with clubs, so we don’t have as much drive or push behind us to do what we do, and most of it is up to us, whether we want to do well or how hard train."

Q: What do you think will change that?
A: "Well, to me, better organization, more preparation for these kind of events, because a lot of athletes here have never done tracks in their lives. They just came here like a week to train somehow to get better for the weekend (Inter-Schools), so if they could recruit athletes much earlier and get them into the sport, I think that would help a lot."

Q: You said, if they could, if they who?
A: The heads of the athletics association and the ministry of sports in the country."

Q: Do you plan to take track and field seriously? Do you see yourself representing you country at the highest level?
A: "Honestly I really do."

 Q: Where are you now and where you see yourself in 5 to 10 years time?
A: "I am way behind, because the times I ran maybe impressive here but if I was to go elsewhere it would be pretty mediocre, so it’s up to me to work as hard as I have to catch up and do well on the bigger stage."

Q: Do you plan to take on the challenge and work hard to get to that level?
A: "I honestly do."

Q: What would be your encouragement to other athletes here in Antigua, who wouldn’t just want to win the 200m/400m like you, but also want to go on to the bigger stage?
A: "All I would say to them is try to get organize and train as hard as you can, most of the times you might have to motivate yourself, so set your goals and aim for them."

Q: You mentioned Jamaica earlier, and that the times you are running will be mediocre elsewhere, what would you say to other countries' athletes, in your age group, who may be saying ‘those guys in Antigua not running fast and may not go anywhere’?
A: "Although they are my age, I honestly do look up to those athletes, they work hard, they do best and hopefully one day I can be just as good as they are."


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