Goal driven: Nico Barclay is aiming to represent Bermuda at the Carifta Games in the 1500m and 3000m. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
Goal driven: Nico Barclay is aiming to represent Bermuda at the Carifta Games in the 1500m and 3000m. *Photo by Ras Mykkal

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15: Nico Barclay could be one of a handful of track and field athletes making their Carifta debut this year. While Barclay may be new to the international track scene, he’s performed on the big stage before.

The Warwick Academy student has competed in triathlons in San Diego and Chicago, so he is used to the bigger crowds who come out to this level of event.

While that might give some student-athletes the jitters, young Nico is taking it all in stride, ready to impress his family and friends at the Bermuda Carifta Games.

Why did you decide to come back to the sport?

When I was younger I used to always run cross-country. I was really good as I was always top five against other schools and won at my school. I always used to go to track meets with my friend. This year I was nominated for Triathlete of the Year and I was going away to San Diego for an event so I decided to improve my running so I started training with Gerry Swan.

What do you like about running?

It’s very enjoyable. I love doing it.

What made you decide to try and make the Carifta team?

As I was training, Mr Swan said I had the potential of being a Carifta athlete so I decided to go for it and see if I make it.

What’s the best piece of advice Mr Swan has given you?

He’s always talking to us about our mental toughness when you’re doing an event. When I’m very tired I want to stop, but I can’t because then I won’t achieve what I want to achieve.

How does being a triathlete and track athlete help each other?

Well triathlon has swimming, biking and running. Obviously, the running will help with the running, but also the running helps the cycling so it will improve my triathlon.

What’s your favourite triathlon discipline?

It’s a mixture between cycling and running.

What’s the best you’ve done in running?

I won the cross-country series this year.  Every race in the series that I did, I came in first. I also won the national championship.

Why do you enjoy cross country?

It has better scenery than the track and you’re not running around in circles. There’s also obstacles and you can run up and down hills. Mr Swan helped get me involved in cross country.

Where do you hope your sporting abilities will lead you?

Hopefully I’ll get a scholarship to a good school and see how far I can go with it.

What does it mean to you to have the Carifta Games in Bermuda this year?

It means a lot because it will be in front of everybody I know and I would like to do well.

Is there any added pressure with the Carifta Games being here?

Yes, because I wouldn’t like to come last in front of everybody I know. That would be embarrassing. It’s a lot of pressure but I should be able to handle it.

Who is your favourite training partner? Why?

Shuntae Hendrickson. We just encourage each other and we just make sure we keep each other going and not let each other give up when we get tired.

How do your parents help you with your sports.

My momma helps a lot because she comes to every sport I do — even if its raining or even if she’s sick. Even when she was hurt this weekend, she still came out to encourage and support me.

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