The Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT), the governing body of Triathlon in Barbados, is pleased to announce the first beneficiaries of the Junior Emerging Athlete Program (JEAP) are Niel Skinner, Eric Lashley and Zahra Gaskin.
The program was recently created to develop athletes with long term potential to achieve high performance as U23 triathletes and eventually elite standard performance through financial, coaching and competition support. JEAP will be run with the oversight of BFIT and will be executed by coaches appointed by BFIT. Current coaches include Olympian Jason Wilson and 2017 National Champion Oein Josiah. The goal of JEAP is to create a supportive, challenging and inspiring environment to help aid and guide athlete development.
The first phase of the program is funding by BFIT that will cover coaching fees, athletes’ insurance, local race fees and some incidental expenses like physio therapy and bike services. As a member of the program, all JEAP athletes are expected to commit to a minimum of 10 months of triathlon training in which attendance, attitude and performance will be tracked and evaluated in order to remain in the program.
Phase two which is currently underway involves engaging social partners like National Sports Council and Corporate Barbados to provide support to enhance development activities of those enrolled in the program. “It is paramount to have the resources to offer these talented athletes opportunities to broaden their development, otherwise we will never truly know what these triathletes are truly capable of,” said Darren Treasure, BFIT President. “We are very excited by what these young triathletes bring to the sport and BFIT hopes this program will allow us to produce the next elite triathletes to follow in the footsteps of Jason Wilson and Matthew Wright,” he added.
To be considered for JEAP, athletes must be between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age. He or she must be a Barbados citizen, participated in triathlon for two consecutive years prior and be capable of achieving 320 points (male) and 290 (female) based on a scoring system for swimming and running times. In addition, they must display a propensity for dedication and commitment towards triathlon. Skinner, Lashley and Gaskin, all met the criteria above and they show tremendous potential to develop into elite athletes. The JEAP athletes commenced training in February and are currently preparing for various competitions with CARIFTA Triathlon in August hosted in Jamaica being considered an A race.
BFIT is the governing federation for triathlon and triathletes in Barbados. The federation also hosts the CARIFTA qualifying races, an Age Group Mixed Relay, an Age Group Sprint Triathlon and Relay, the CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup, Duathlon and Aquathlon races, the Annual Barbados National Triathlon, as well as more casual events like a Parent’s Triathlon. For more information on JEAP and the 2019 calendar of events, visit https://triathlonbarbados.com/, like the Facebook page @BarbadosTriathlon, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Image: Zahra Gaskin (left), Eric Lashley (middle) and Niel Skinner (right), signing athlete contracts for acceptance into the Junior Emerging Athlete program