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Gill, Mc Intyre cop Cougars top awards

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Ashton Gill, left, proudly accepts the Male Athlete of the Year award from Anthony Creed, executive director, Sports Company of T&T, at Cougars Track and Field Club Christmas dinner and awards ceremony on Wednesday at the VIP Room, Hasely Crawford Stadium in Woodbrook. PHOTOS: SEAN NERO

Ashton Gill, 17, is Cougars Track and Field Club boys “Athlete of the Year”.


At Wednesday’s Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony held at the VIP Room at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Woodbrook, the 800 metre and 1,500 athlete took the podium to receive the top accolade for a second consecutive year.


But Jada Barker, last year’s Female Athlete of the Year, did not share the spotlight with Gill.


On this occasion, that honour went to 400-metre specialist Kershel Mc Intyre, 14.


Following the prestigious wins both athletes spoke of the new and positive approaches they have applied to their respective disciplines which saw their aim for excellence realised.


Gill, a form four student at East Mucurapo Secondary, was able to improve his ranking in the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Cross Country Championships to second, while improving his time from 23 to 21 minutes.


Meanwhile, absenteeism is a thing of the past for Mc Intyre.


Asked about his strategy to keep his excellence on the track parallel with his secondary school obligations, Gill said, “At my school, there are teachers who understand that you are in sport. Miss! I have a meet today! Can I get the work tomorrow? I have friends who I can take the notes from. When it comes to managing training and studying it’s very hard. Sometimes you reach home from training, you’re very tired. You eat, you bathe, you sleep; get up like 1 (am) and study. I have an exam next week…have to study for that exam. It’s very hard to keep up training and studying at the same time.”


He added, “When it comes to managing school work, I get ahead of the curriculum. Instead of waiting for the class to do something, I take extra work on my own to push myself forward because I know there would be a time when I will miss class. There are no ifs or buts. So I go ahead of the curriculum, talk to the teachers…let them know I am in sports. It helps! It means I am always ahead.”


For the 2014 track and field season Gill is looking forward to not only improving his rank in the Cross Country Championships, but securing gold for T&T at the Carifta Games, while repeating this performance at the Youth Olympics and Caribbean and Central American Games are high on his list of priorities.


Mc Intyre, who is adjusting to secondary school life being new to St James Government Secondary, said she was happy having copped the girls “Athlete of the Year” award.


She said she worked hard towards achieving the award which started with improving her attendance at training and working carefully on making the improvements necessary in areas where her weaknesses were visible.


“I know what I am about, and I am focused on becoming an Olympian, making myself and my family proud; by keeping on the right track and staying away from wrong company,” she said.


Despite the obvious peers pressures Mc Intyre said she continues to be inspired and motivated by her parents, as well as coaches at Cougars Track and Field Club.


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