World-class jumps coach James Rolle has been busy for the past two weeks, training athletes at the original Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium, and getting his jumpers back to competition shape. He said he’s still training his athletes as if competition will resume sometime this year, locally, regionally and internationally.
Rolle, the head coach for the Leap of Faith Club, said it was a great decision by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to allow “professional athletes” to resume their training.
Minnis announced on Sunday, May 3 that The Bahamas is in phase 1b of the re-opening of the country plan that stipulates that “professional athletes” are allowed to train at national facilities.
“It was a great decision from the government,” Rolle said. “It has been great. We got a lot of help from Quinton Brennen from the National Sports Authority (NSA) who made sure that all the coaches get what they need and what they want. He comes out and observes the physical distancing. It’s a good thing that they did.”
Some of the jumpers he has under his wing are Ryan Ingraham, Tamara Myers, Holland Martin, Kaiwan Culmer, Celine Thompson, Deajha Moss and Charisma Taylor. He coaches the triple jump, high jump and long jump events.
Since the country went into a state of emergency and implemented national curfews and lockdowns in March, Rolle said he has been sending his athletes workout programs via the internet and they have done conditioning in their homes. He said he has seen improvement since they have returned to training.
“It has been a huge difference,” Rolle said. “I sent workouts over the internet for them to do. A lot of them did conditioning in their houses. They came out here and it took them two days before they got back into top conditioning. All the athletes I have are like 85 to 95 percent ready… I look at where they were to now. I think it gave them a better chance to recover their bodies from injuries. It taught them how to rest and rest is more important than training.”
Rolle has been coaching since October 8, 2010. As for when he thinks his jumpers will be competition-ready, he said by mid-June.
“In the next few weeks, we should be ready for anything. By the middle of June, the jumpers I train should be ready for anything. I know that the coaches as well as other athletes will be ready, but we’re from The Bahamas. We will be ready,” Rolle said.
Rolle said he has adhered to government regulations, preventing his junior athletes from coming out to train. Phase four of the re-opening process will allow for those junior athletes to train, according to a press release from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Rolle has experienced significant success in his coaching career, guiding athletes such as Ingraham to the top of regional and world rankings. He has had jumpers ranked in the top 20 in the world at the junior and senior levels.
Rolle served as the head coach for The Bahamas at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Tampere, Finland. He was also on the national coaching staff for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now World Athletics, World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in 2013; again in Beijing, China, in 2015; and on the junior level at the world juniors in Barcelona, Spain, in 2012.
He extended thanks to “Bommer George” for sponsoring his club’s uniforms this year.
With a little over a year prior to the start of the 2021 Summer Olympic Games, Rolle is working assiduously to get some of his athletes qualified.