Para-athletic star Akeem Stewart said that he will be leaving Tobago to seek a new training base as the facility at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet remains unavailable. Stewart, who recently returned from Japan after completing a documentary on him done by a Japan sports media, for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games, said the trip has given him an insight of his strengths and weakness, according to his health and body type.
Stewart added that he knows what he has to do to become a better athlete, after enduring several tests in Japan, but says he cannot achieve this improvement in Tobago.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, Stewart was unable to state exactly when he will be leaving or where he will be going to, but insists he must leave the island.
He said, “I went through a number of tests like a strength test, mobility test, ultrasound, X-ray and MRI. At the end of these I discovered what I have been doing to contribute to my strength and power and my weaknesses. I have to do more strength training which I doubt I can do in here; the way things are going for athletes in Tobago where the necessary resources are unavailable.
“The stadium has the equipment but I do not have access to it. That will create a whole series of problems for me all at once because there is nowhere to train. My next step is to leave Tobago very soon and go elsewhere to train.”
Stewart’s document will tell the story of his journey from the beginning of his career in Tobago to becoming a two-time record holder and double-medallist, at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (gold in the men’s javelin and silver in the men’s discus) and at the 2017 World Para-Athletic Championships in London, England (gold in both javelin and shot put).
During his time in Japan, between August 17 and 28, Stewart toured three universities and a high-technology science lab where he was introduced to biomechanics; the study of body movements and of the forces acting on the musculoskeletal system.
“The reason why I am able to throw far distances with little to no effort is mostly because the lengths of my arms are longer than usual,” said Stewart. “Also I understand now, what are some of the things that cause me to get injured during the competition.
“Last year I got a back injury because I was mostly focusing on working on my arms without putting in as much work on my legs, and that caused the injury. Now I know what to do to prevent injuries, what I could work on to improve my performance.”
He said he also interacted with a number of javelin throwers in Japan, and was able to take away advice to improve his technique.