I want to give back: National long jumper Barnes aiming to assist sport in the long run

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By Neto Baptiste

US-based long jumper, Dahlia Barnes, wants to do more than just represent Antigua and Barbuda at the highest level.

The 19-year-old medical student at the Florida Atlantic University, said that one of her goals is to position herself from both a professional and financial standpoint to be able to give back to the sport and athletes here in Antigua and Barbuda.

“I know that there is a lot of stuff that needs to be done at YASCO still, after being up there for a few weeks, and I would love to see Antigua flourish so if it’s financially, coming back when I have the means to give back, even if it’s not to the complex, to the young athletes by helping them get to certain meets, and with gear and stuff like that that they would need,” she said.

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US-based long jumper, Dahlia Barnes.

Barnes, who spoke recently on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, said that having attended school and training in the USA over the past three years, it has opened her eyes to the benefits of having adequate training facilities and qualified personnel at your disposal.

“One example is having a training room that is totally accessible to me. I have the boots that I can go and use after practice and before practice, ice baths that I can get into. I’ve been here for two weeks and I haven’t done an ice bath because I’d have to do it at home, so it’s a little bit less accessible having to get the ice and everything. The trainers are more accessible, so I can have somebody come and give me a massage if I needed it right away,” the athlete said.

Barnes was set back by separate knee injuries spanning 2020 and 2021, both of which required surgery. She is now hoping to transfer to another school in the US which offers a more comprehensive jumps programme.

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