One of the fun parts of the job Zambonaga Del Sur is watching the progress and teaching the elementary age athletes. Grass Training in particular is one session we do. In Manila I noticed an obsession amongst coaches to train on rubberized ovals due to the lack of grass areas in a lot of places. This trend started to spread into the provinces. Where obsession to have a rubberized oval became rampant. However grass training plays an important role.
Just like the Jamaicans who predominantly train on grass. We have conducted grass training for our elementary kids. These photos were taken back in late November, Early December. And since then the kids pictured have made very rapid progress since.
The Girl in Pink Geraldine from Kumularang is in Grade 4 and since these photos have been taken has improved her times in the 100m from 16.4 to 14.8, and 200m from 36 to 32.8 within the 2 months she has come to the academy.
The kids pictured here are Elementary age kids. A lot of them are from quite poor families from around the municipalities of Zamboanga Del Sur.
The province of Del Sur has around a population of 1 million people.
The Sports Academy is the program of Governor Antonio H. Cerriles. And Zamboanga Sports Academy is the only Academy in the country which is entirely local government funded.
We do have a large blue rubberized oval about 20-30 meters away. But part of our recovery training allows the kids to train barefoot on grass to strengthen important muscles in the legs.
Exercises include drills and short sprints on the grass as well as low level plyometrics.