Oshawa's Mariam Abdul-Rashid named Youth Athlete of the Year

Track star set number of Canadian records

OSHAWA -- An outstanding year on the track turned in by Mariam Abudul-Rashid has been recognized with an award by Athletics Canada.

The Oshawa resident and student at Eastdale Collegiate, who competes for The Speed Academy based in Pickering, was named the 2014 Myrtle Cook Youth Athlete of the Year.

Abdul-Rashid set Canadian youth records in both the 300m and 400m hurdles. She also placed fifth in the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon. At the Canadian youth championships in British Columbia, she reached the podium four times, three times as a gold medallist in the 200m, as well as the 100m and 300m hurdles. She also earned bronze with Ontario's 4x400m relay team.

Her efforts in both the classroom and on the track paid off with a scholarship to the University of Texas.

Abdul-Rashid's coach at The Speed Academy, Tony Sharpe, was named the Development Coach of the Year.

Both will be honoured by Athletics Canada at a special Pan American Games themed alumni reception July 24 in Toronto.

Tony Sharpe helps score scholarships for track and field stars

tony sharpe

Sharpe, the former Canadian Olympian, runs the Speed Academy, a developmental track and field club in Pickering, which has helped dozens of athletes get NCAA scholarships.

The club was founded in 2006 and Sharpe left his corporate account manager’s job at Bell to track athletes full-time a few years later.

“I’m a full-time coach, you know, not something people do often in Canada,” says Sharpe, 59, adding about 50 Speed Academy athletes have received scholarships.