Triathlon coming to Portmore
The sport of triathlon is coming to Portmore in March. That’s the word from Carl Sharpe, Jamaica Triathlon Association President, who is looking forward to a bright 2023 season for the sport. Part of his optimism is born out of the bright start to...
The sport of triathlon is coming to Portmore in March. That’s the word from Carl Sharpe, Jamaica Triathlon Association President, who is looking forward to a bright 2023 season for the sport. Part of his optimism is born out of the bright start to his association’s high school competition last year.
Speaking at last Saturday’s Jamalco-Puma Development meet in Halse Hall in Clarendon, Sharpe said the Sun City Triathlon is the next big event on the calendar. Set for March 18 at Waves Beach in Hellshire, the event is designed to encourage wide-ranging participation.
“Sun City will be a mixture of standard sprint triathlon as well as duathlon and aquathlon. Duathlon will be just the ride and run, and aquathlon will be just swim and run, so we’re trying to cater to as wide a number of participants as possible and to help them help to grow the sport,” he outlined.
The Jakes Triathlon comes up in late April at Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth to be followed by the second staging in the association’s school triathlon competition. It was launched last year, and Sharpe said it made a difference to Jamaica’s effort at the Carifta Games.
“It was part of our manifesto for the new board, and we successfully pulled it off in 2022, June 2022, from which we actually had the largest team we took to Carifta, further in the year in November, when it was held,” he recounted.
The level of participation was a bit of a surprise. “Indeed, we actually thought that we would have about 40 participants, being an inaugural meet, but in actual fact, we ended up with 102, and we were very satisfied with the turnout,” he said.
Sharpe hopes the interest among young competitors will grow this time around. “We will be expanding the list of schools that we will be targeting,” he added.
The president lists a scholarship for the association’s youth coach, Dane Wright, as another boost for the sport.
“We have also been fortunate enough to have our youth coach having gotten an Olympic scholarship to further his coaching abilities, and this will also give us a platform to actually improve the whole sport of triathlon for youth and for the further development of it in Jamaica,” he related of a Jamaica Olympic Association scholarship award to Wright.
In addition, public interest in the sport is picking up. “We do get a lot of inquiries about persons wanting to participate. Even adults who have never done the sport, we will see them on the road, and they will say, ‘Oh, what’s happening?’. We tell them, and they will say, ‘Okay, make sure you include me when you’re next having the next meet. Make sure you call us,’” he saied.
The association wants to build on that surge in interest.
“That’s one of the things that we’ll be doing this year, is to improve the presentation and to widen the appeal to the wider public,” Sharpe said.