Featured Old Boy
For many decades Jamaica’s athletics has been defined by the successes in the sprinting events. Thanks to Julian Robinson Jamaica’s reputation in the throwing events has been enhanced in recent years.
He has coached a number of outstanding junior athletes who have gone on to international success. In short order it is expected that one of his former charges will break through to the highest levels of the sport and win World and Olympic medals.
He has coached Traves Smikle, Frederick Dacres, Ashinia Miller, Chad Wright, Basil Bingham, Noel Facey and Randale Watson among others. In 2012 he earned his first appointment with the national track and field team as throws coach to the CAC games. He coaches Shot put, Discus and recently added the Javelin.
Julian attended Calabar in the period 1987 to 1994 and remembers coming under the influence of a number of outstanding teachers. These included Keith Noel, Mrs. Dorita Tulloch-Reid and the late Errol Grant. Among his contemporaries were Dervan Malcolm, Dawdu Banjoko and Adrian Nelson.
What is not well known about Coach Robinson is that he was a multi-sport athlete while at Calabar. He represented the school at under-13 football, table tennis and was also recruited for the Schools’ Challenge Quiz team.
It was in track and field that he was to make a lasting impression, however. He recalls that his introduction to the throws happened almost by accident.
After completing a year of under-13 football he gained significant weight in the off-season and wasn’t as mobile as before. A senior track team member, Robert Holdsworth encouraged him to try out for the throws. Initially he didn’t get good results. However, a year later he returned to training and was able to compete with better results. He represented Calabar at Champs from then until he completed school in upper 6th form, earning two silvers and a bronze in shut put and discus and adding valuable points to our Champs totals during those years.
The real eye-opener for Coach Robinson as a student athlete was his final year of Class 1 when he travelled with the team to the Penn Relays. It was there that he first saw the high standard of throwing that was required to compete at that level. It was then that his life mission was born.
The coaching begins
Some ten years ago, after completing higher education, he volunteered to assist the Calabar throwers and was taken on by head coach Michael Clarke. The rest is track and field history. His throws programme at Calabar has produced medals at Champs, CACJunior, Carifta, World Youth and World Junior levels. One of his athletes represented Jamaica at the 2012 London Olympics. Quite impressive achievements for a largely self-taught coach.
Coach Robinson is quick to point out the importance of academics to his athletes. He always reminds them that the primary reason for being at Calabar is to get an education. He encourages his charges to use athletics to gain access to higher education. Currently there are seven former athletes of his pursuing higher education in universities in Jamaica and abroad.
Academics and sport
His own academic and professional achievements speak of a well-rounded individual who has accomplished much. An Electrical Engineer, Coach Robinson holds two Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s degree along with the Professional Engineer designation.
Coach Robinson employs his engineering know-how to produce better results for his athletes. He understands the importance of maximising muscle power and transmitting it efficiently to the implement with the least power loss. He stresses proper technique supported by the appropriate physical development.
He has availed himself of high-level coaching training and currently holds IAAF Level 5 certification as a throws coach.
Julian is most proud of the impact he has been able to make in the lives of the numerous young men who have come under his guidance. Many have gone on to international success but he is equally pleased to reflect on others who may not be as successful but whose lives have been enhanced by their exposure to sport and to his influence.
Coach Robinson lives a God-fearing life and is grateful for the blessings he has experienced. He is convinced that his steps are ordered. He takes inspiration from his faith and from the school’s motto: The Utmost for the Highest.
COBA celebrates the achievements of Julian L. Robinson and wishes him many more years of success in his chosen fields.
Flashback to COBA Dinner 2011: Then-President John Messam presents a citation to honouree Julian Robinson
Meet the Robinsons: Julian and Tamara Robinson enjoy COBA Dinner 2007
Coach Robinson with some of his throwers