Jamaica is a nation that takes its athletes seriously. Every year, thousands of talented and determined young girls and boys dream of becoming the next Jamaican sprinting champions. This remarkable documentary follows the stories of Okhalia, Alesha and Shellece — three inspiring youngsters who strive to continue their country’s legacy in track and field.
St. Jago High School has earned a reputation as an athletics powerhouse, producing more Olympic-level sprinters than any other school in Jamaica. For many of these students, embracing the rigorous training program is seen as their ticket to a better life — no matter what obstacles stand in their way: rain, heat or lack of proper running shoes. The coaches at St Jago understand this drive, and encourage these athletes to show their strength during the annual Inter-Secondary Schools Boys and Girls Championships (or “Champs”). Champs is a five day tournament famed for its ability to launch rising stars into the international sports scene — Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson are all former competitors who have gone on to achieve massive success.
Although she was recruited by St Jago, Alesha Kelly chose to live away from her family for a year so she could focus on preparing for Champs. Meanwhile, Okhalia Buchanan (nicknamed ‘Little Rocket’) has overcome hamstring injuries while competing at Wolmer’s High School in Kingston; Shelly-Ann Fracer-Pryce’s come-from-behind story mirrors that of Okhalia’s; and Shellece Clarke boasts an impressive list of gold medals from her years at Edwin Allen High School. With 2020 Olympic selection looming overhead, these three young women put forth all their strength each day in pursuit of achieving their dreams — both collectively for Jamaica as well as individually for themselves.
This film shows us just how much work and determination it takes for ambitious sprinters to reach the top — and how important it is to never give up despite whatever hardships may arise along the way. If you’re looking for an inspiring story about perseverance in times of adversity then this documentary is definitely one worth watching!