By Noel “Bravo” Francis, Special to

Camperdown High School has contributed tremendously to Jamaica’s rich track and field history over the years. Among those who have walked through the gates of this noble institution and have made their marks locally, regionally and internationally include Glen Mills, the world renowned coach of legendary track star Usain Bolt and President of Racers Track Club.

Donald Quarrie is also a past student who won Olympic gold in the men’s 200m and silver in the 100m at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. His statue is erected outside the National Stadium. Quarrie’s vision and hard work has paid dividends with the annually successful staging of the Jamaica Invitational International Meet.

Other notable athletes from Camperdown include Raymond Stewart, Rasheed Dwyer, Leroy Reid, Garfield Campbell, Carey Johnson, Revoli Campbell, Althea Lloyd, Errol Byles, Gladstone Morrison, Remaldo Rose and the Dawkins twins – Maxine and Marlene.

In recent times the school affectionately called ‘The sprint factory’ has not been in the spotlight. However, all of that could change with visionary coach Leacroft Bolt now at the helm. Bolt is committed to making his mark and expects to see the dawn of a new era under his watch. He believes with the right financial support, nutrition programme, energy and donations from various sectors the school will reclaim its rightful place in the top ten.

One of the athletes expected to lead the charge for coach Bolt this year at Champs is Rushelle Burton. The former St. Andrew High standout transferred last season to the Red and Blue clad institution. She is more famous internationally for her 4th place finished in the 100m hurdles final at the 2013 World Youth Championship in Donetsk, Ukraine where her teammate Yanique Thompson struck gold. special contributor Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis recently interviewed Rushelle Burton at the end of a training session at the Stadium East.

Q: How has your season been going?
A: “My season has been great so far.”

Q: Do you have any injury concerns?
A: “I have no niggling injury. It has been good so far.”

Q: Sometimes when an athlete returns from an injury they have doubts about how their body will respond to training and competition, do you have fears and does it affect you?
A: “Yes I’ve had fears back then but not now. I used to fear that I’m going to aggravate the injury but not anymore.”

Q: You transferred from St. Andrew High to Camperdown High. How do you find your new school?
A: “Camperdown is great. I really like the school and the students, so it’s fun.”

Q: What are your goals for Champs this year?
A: “My goal is basically to reach all finals, medal if I can and finish my races without any injuries.”

Q: Which events will you participate in at Champs?
A: “I’ll be doing the 100m hurdles, 100m and 4x100m.”

Q: What is your favourite meal?
A: “My favourite meal is fried chicken of course.”

Q: Who is your role model and why?
A: “I look up to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce because she’s very motivating. I really like how she goes out and train and compete.”

Q: Who is your coach?
A: “Mr. Leacroft Bolt.”

Q: What is the best coaching advice you ever received?
A: “My best coaching advice is no pain, no gain, and no trip to Spain.”

Q: What is your best memory competing at Champs?
A: “My second year in Class 4 when I won 3 gold medals and 1 bronze.”

Q: Who do you see as your main rival or rivals for the Class 1 100m hurdles title at Champs?
A: “Honestly, I don’t see anybody as my main rival. All seven other competitors will be my rivals.”

Q: Are you looking forward to the CARIFTA Games and World Juniors this year?
A: “Yes I’m very excited for them.”

Burton is expected to accumulate crucial points for Camperdown this season. She knows firsthand that positive thinking will allow you to do everything better than negative thinking will. Therefore, she is quite optimistic and is taking everything in stride, being guided all the way by the School’s motto Solum Optima Petenda Sunt (Only the best is good enough).

Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis is a very exciting and creative freelance sports writer specializing in the fields of athletics and cricket. His colourful down to earth yet professional personality makes him a favourite amongst athletes and fans. Readers are often exposed to his detailed knowledge and passion which usually increase their interest in the athletes, events and the sport overall. He has a first degree in Banking & Finance and works in the financial industry. Contact Noel at [email protected]


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