BPTT HONOURS TWITTER PLEDGE: Trinidad and Tobago Paralympic Committee (TTPC) president, Ken McKell, receives a $100,000 cheque from BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) Regional President, Norman Christie, at the Trinidad Hilton, yesterday. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

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Locals to train at Michael Johnson Center

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Cyclist Njisane Phillip, para swimmer Shanntol Ince and hurdler Jehue Gordon will soon have the opportunity to train at the Michael Johnson Performance Center, in Texas, USA.

The training centre carries the name of its founder and president, legendary American athlete Michael Johnson.

At a press conference at the Trinidad Hilton in Port of Spain, yesterday, the quadruple Olympic gold medallist outlined the philosophy of his facility.

"When your career is over, to be able to look back and say that I got everything out of my ability that I set out to do is a great gift and a feeling of accomplishment. Michael Johnson Performance was formed for that particular objective. "The success that I have experienced as an athlete was due to the fact that I had great coaching, great medical support. The goal is to give athletes here in Trinidad the same opportunities I had as an athlete. That was really the impetus behind me founding Michael Johnson Performance after my own career."

Phillip and Ince will travel to Texas courtesy BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT). T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC), meanwhile, is responsible for Gordon's visit to the training centre. The athletes will be accompanied by their respective coaches.

Yesterday, Regional President of bpTT, Norman Christie, spoke about the relationship that has been established between his company and the Michael Johnson Performance Center.

"Local coaches will benefit from hands-on expert training and development with some of the world's best coaches in strength, performance and agility. In late 2012, staff and members of the national Olympic Committee were able to visit the Michael Johnson Performance Center, where they were blown away by the best in class technology and coaching techniques available at the centre."

The Michael Johnson Performance Center will conduct four one-week seminars in T&T for local coaches.

TTOC president Larry Romany said yesterday that the bpTT/TTOC/-Michael Johnson Performance Center relationship is a golden opportunity for T&T.

"The Michael Johnson Center is cutting edge. It is about coaching the elements that coaches need. For any athlete in the world to perform at their best, there is one thing that they need, and that's power—power being derived from a good strength programme, good speed programme and good agility programme. Couple that with good sport nutrition and mental skills training, and you have all the attributes that a coach actually needs to train his athlete to be the best that he can be.

"We look forward to carrying our athletes there. We know that this is a match made in heaven."

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