Eight years old – SUPERMAN! - A promising professional athlete

Christopher Osborne
B.Athletics Reporter

       Coaches have their eyes affixed on a new promising flash of lightening and a different sound of thunder.  This powerful flash of lightning and sound of thunder is bottled-up in an eight year old athlete, who has seemingly captured the attention of several coaches reveling the stadium to capture and savor his performance.
This young and vibrant athlete, Jaden Clarke, ran the 100 meter event in a time of 14.95 seconds and captured the attention of parents, fans and definitely, track coaches at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field stadium at recent events.  This so-called “Superman!” performance will again be thunder rolled at upcoming events that no one, not even photo journalists, can afford to miss.     
Clarke is an excellent student at Summit Academy, which was founded on the principle that “learning systems have to be sufficiently flexible and adaptable to meet the individualized needs of its student population.”
And SA’s student (Jaden) has gained this principle.  In fact, the foundation of Summit Academy and Clarke’s parents’ principle and standard, are certainly interwoven into leading Jaden Clarke’s goals and brilliance in the right direction; whereas Jaden’s mother mentioned how pleased she is with her son, his progress and the direction in which he going.  Also, she is ecstatic how Jaden has been focusing on his running technique and strategies, jives, getting out the blocks, going the extra mile to practice, and interestingly watching how retired 100m and 200m Olympian, Usain Bolt gains the upper hand and advantage of his contenders in various events.  
Jaden has speed and agility and intellectually, he is cognoscente of where he is, where he needs to be and what he has to do to get there. In an interview with this journal after his event, Jaden, passionately said, “I feel good how well I run the 200m and the 100m events.”  This young athlete has run the 100 meter event much faster and, to date, his fastest time on record in the 100 meter event stands at 14.50 seconds.  Looking back at his race in the 100m, Jaden said, “I was a little nervous when the gun went off.  I stepped up and after my jive phase, I got tall and stride into the finish line.”
During training practices Jaden does his “…warm-ups, stretches and drills as well as, makes sure that I am eating properly,” he said.  “To start the day off, I have a good breakfast, sometimes grits with tuna and, I drink a lot of water to keep my body hydrated.  Also, I practice properly to make sure I don’t have any injuries,” said the soon becoming nine year old, as he sat with his older sister and manager, Aaliyah Clarke, in the bleaches with his track team, Club Monica Athletics, which is led by head coach, Dianne Woodside.    
Further, despite facing some minor injuries, Jaden noted that in order to improve, “after injuries, I would ice my legs and work on quick recovery. To improve I would have to move my legs faster.”  
At this early age, Jaden is also very serious and focused. “Even though other young athletes are not there to practice,” noted his mother, Mrs. Yvette Clarke, “he still shows up for practice.”
Jaden’s manager, none other than his older sister, Aaliyah Clarke, said that “for someone his age, so young, he is really headstrong.  He does not accept No! for an answer.  He always wants to improve.  It is beautiful to see that he is willing to work hard and dedicate his time into practice and, still be able to have fun and enjoy it (his performance).”  Aaliyah is highly concern and serious to remain Jaden’s manager into the future, focusing her career on becoming an attorney.
Academically, Jaden is an outstanding student at Summit Academy, The Bahamas’ “Smaller, Smarter School” which is a private school that offers a program of academic excellence to students in preschool through middle school.  
However, looking into the near future as a professional athlete, Jaden said, “I see this as a career for me (in the 100m & 200m) event. My aim is to be a professional athlete and, so, now I have to focus on this career.” Yet, jokingly, Jaden mentioned that he wants to be an Olympian and maybe later on in life focus on playing professional football. Therefore, his goal and challenge to others is to “work hard, keep fit, stay focus and have fun with what you do.  The sky is the limit,” he said.

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