Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Local coaches benefit from MJP programme
World 400m hurdles champion Jehue Gordon, who trained at the Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) clinic earlier this year, has paved the way for 30 T&T coaches to benefit from this elite programme.
Two certified strength and conditioning specialists representing the MJP, Lance Walker and Brian Abadie, are currently in T&T to pass on their wealth of knowledge to local coaches. The three-day workshop, put on by MJP in collaboration with bpTT, the T&T Olympic Commitee (TTOC) and the T&T Paralympic Committee (TTPC), which started on Tuesday conclude today. The programme is focusing on training techniques to improve agility, speed, strength and stamina.
Some of the coaches and athletes benefiting from the workshop are Olympian Cleopatra Borel, former national cyclist Clinton Grant and former long jumper Wendell Williams, who took part in the 2000 Olympic Games.
Walker, who is the former assistant strength and conditioning coach of National Football League (NFL) team Dallas Cowboys, is already looking forward to returning to T&T saying: “This better not be a one-off thing.”
Walker said that this is a step-by-step process for long term development which is in line with TTOC’s long term goal of the winning atleast 10 gold medals in the 2024 Olympics.
Walker was impressed with the enthusiasm of the coaches and said he is also learning from the T&T coaches.
“It is a give-and-take situation, there are a lot of great things going on in T&T.”
T&T’s World champion Gordon was impressed by the state of the art facilities during his stint at MJP.
“I was a bit jealous to be honest, I would like to see those facilities in T&T, “ Gordon said. “The staff was very friendly and accomodating and it was really exciting to meet Michael Johnson.”
Johnson, a former Olympic champion and world record holder, who was well known for his unique upright style of running, founded Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) in 2002.
Athletes of the NFL and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in USA, the Premiership in England and Olympic athletes from around the world have benefited from MJP.
The MJP Centre headquarters in Dallas, Texas, has the latest technology and equipment in a 24,000 square foot premises. The centre features a resistance training area which includes the latest Keiser strength and resistance equipment and a physical therapy and injury rehab centre featuring a Hydrowox under water treadmill and regeneration pools.
Dr Ian Hypolite, Gordon’s coach, is also very pleased that the programme has come to T&T, but knows financial assistance is required for a facility such as the MJP, to exist in T&T.
“Financing is important, some of the equipment is expensive,” said Dr Hypolite, who was selected as the 2013 Coach of the Year by the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC), earlier this month.
Brian Lewis, president of TTOC, spoke highly of the legendary athlete saying, “Michael Johnson knows how to win medals. Michael has 13 gold medals.”
Lewis, in discussion with Johnson previously, said the former 200m and 400m star, was glad to help the T&T athletes and coaches.
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