Over the July school holidays 2018, two young boys from Avondale Athletics Club attended the Racers Summer Camp, hosted by Racers Track Club, Kingston, Jamaica. Lex Revell-Lewis (14) and Tremayne Redman-Gardner (15) fundraised and worked odd jobs over many months to raise enough money to cover their flights and camp costs. The camp is designed for young athletes up to and including 19 year olds and is open to anyone in the world. The boys took part in 2 of the 3 weeks’ worth of camp due largely because of school holiday constraints within NZ.
The boys trained 3x per day Monday to Thursday with one morning session on Friday before taking part in a Friday field trip activity. Everyday there would be grass-based track sessions, rubber-track sessions (Usain Bolt Track) and a core session (indoors). Training starts at 6am every day, with the final session finishing up around 6.30pm. Track training was done either early morning or afternoon to avoid the intense midday sun. The boys stayed within the University of West Indies dorm rooms with the rest of the group, and enjoyed real Jamaican meals and hospitality.
It was an incredible experience for the boys – both the athletics component, which was challenging and added some depth to their own training regime; but also the cultural exchange provided the boys with an opportunity to experience Jamaica, widen their personal perspectives on the world, and to also appreciate what they have back in NZ.
The highlights for the boys would certainly have been the field trips which included a double-waterfall trip to cool off sore bodies in the cold, refreshing river near Gordon Town; the trip to the historical caves at St Ann, learning a little bit about the slavery history, and also swimming and playing at a pristine, clear-water beach at Ocho Rios. Was a fantastic experience for us, and was wonderful to solidify some strong connections at Racers Track Club.