Pure joy: Bruce Degrilla says he’s aiming for a gold medal at the Carifta Games in Bermuda next year. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
Pure joy: Bruce Degrilla says he’s aiming for a gold medal at the Carifta Games in Bermuda next year. *Photo by Ras Mykkal

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31: CedarBridge Academy student Bruce Degrilla is carving out a name for himself in two sports.

The talented street bike racer is one of the best up and coming riders and currently leads the GP 125 Class.

Every other Sunday you can find him all zipped up in leather at the Bermuda Motorsports Park.

But that isn’t even his best sport.

The 15-year-old is a talented long jumper who already has had a Carifta medal draped around his neck.

Don Burgess interviews him in the second in a series entitled Carifta Countdown. Bermuda’s track and field athletes will be highlighted every Wednesday in the Bermuda Sun. (Read Taylor-Ashley Bean’s interview HERE).

How did you get involved in the sport?

My coach at TN Tatem Middle School, Bill (Euler), invited me to come training and told me I had a future in the sport so I decided to go training.

What were your impressions when you went to your first Carifta Games in 2010 in Cayman?

I was nervous my first time. I was thinking ‘all these people are older than me and used to it’.

How well do you hope to do when Carifta is in Bermuda in 2012?

I hope to do my best. I obviously want to come first, but I also want to set a new PB of 7.3 metres to 7.4 metres.

You’re still fairly young, how far do you think you will be able to jump?

As I get older I think I can get 7.5 or 7.6 metres.

What does it mean to see Tyrone Smith competing at the long jump and representing Bermuda?

He inspires me and a lot of other people. He shows that we can make it out there if we try hard enough.

Is there anyone else that inspires you?

Donna (Watson, Bermuda Track and Field Association president), Devon (Bean, former Olympian) and Xavier (James former spint champion.

Long jump is your main event, but do you do any other events?

I do some sprints too. I do about an 11.4, 11.3 in the 100 metres. I don’t really do the 200 metres, but I have done a 21.7. I have represented Bermuda when we’ve had 4x100 relay teams.

Jeneko Place also races bikes and does track. What kind of bond of friendship has that fostered?

We have a very, very close relationship. We have more in common and more to talk about than with some other people. We both see stuff the same way.

How much training do you do for track and field?

I go training Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday right after school until five or six.

What do you want to do as a career?

I’m really interested in mechanics. Whenever I am bored at my house I go to my bike and work on it. It helps keep me busy.

Carifta Countdown