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May 21, 2024

Tobago well represented at Steps for Hope race, take top spots in 1K

The St Joseph RC church, Scarborough, was well represented with 15 participants in The Catholic News first walk/race on May 11 at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

Three boys from the group: Ayele Ashton James, Micah Hector and Kairone Manswell, pupils of the Scarborough RC Primary School swept the top three places in the 1K.

Khadesha Ramsay in an interview with The Catholic News said participants in the St Joseph youth group heard about the race through youth coordinator Karryl Barton Crawford. Ramsay and Kaieem Manswell, both 23 years, lobbied for the younger ones in the church to participate. “It was a task trying to get the members together, but it was good overall. Plenty determination,” she said.

Practice took place at Mt Irvine Beach. Ramsay said: “Then we would usually do a 4K run, we started from Pleasant Prospect and ran from there to the Buccoo facility…I think we had one training session with that, but other times we trained on the beach. We did sprints on the sand, and we did sprints in the water, to strengthen the legs and build the endurance.”

There were a few adults in the group including Jason Crawford, the husband of Karryl; she accompanied their son Jaden, five years, in the 1K. Several in the parish group were first-time race participants, but some took part in the Shepherd’s Cup obstacle course and the parish did well.

Ramsay said of her first race experience that she felt a little lightheaded and “fainted away” after crossing the finish line. Pre-race start she felt a little overwhelmed and anxious. “While on the road running, I wanted to give up, but I had to push through because we needed the points for the Shepherd Cup despite the times but overall, I felt good, felt I accomplished something to be able to run a 5K even though I was stopping a lot…it is something I would do again”.

Ramsay said seeing the younger members of the youth group enjoying the race warmed her heart. “What we are trying to do with the St Joseph Parish with the youth is reignite that flame, because a lot of them they want to do something…trying to get them involved in activities, to keep the youths going.”

She praised the race planners. “It was well organised, and we felt very welcomed,” she said.

The top three in the 1K are not novice runners; they ran in the National Primary Schools 3K road race on May 8.

Ayele Ashton James, 11 years, said about winning the 1K: “I felt happy because I got to represent my parish and I’m accustomed representing my school, but this is the first time representing my church.”

Sharing details of his training preparation, James said, “My coach and I, Mr Gibbs, we go on a football field, we do seven minutes warm up, then do 12 laps and then do seven sprints around the football field. And the beach training, we do 10 minutes on the soft sand, then three laps up and down is one, then we do seven sprints.”

He was grateful for his family and coach for supporting what he enjoys. “Even though I’m accustomed winning, I was happy to win for the church,” James said. He disclosed that he broke his personal record.

Second place, nine-year-old Hector said: “I feel happy, excited” with his position. Third place Manswell, 10 years, was excited to take part in the race. Though he felt good placing third, he was adamant “I could have done better than that!”